Tuesday, March 31, 2009

AOH President on Notre Dame Scandal

Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, Inc
March 20, 2009

Letter from Seamus Boyle to Father Jenkins, president of Notre Dame

Regarding the university's invitation to President Obama to give the Commencement Address

Dear Father Jenkins,

As National President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, I must strongly urge you to rescind your invitation to President Obama to give the commencement address at Notre Dame this summer. Coming from the most prominent Catholic University in the country, and possibly the world, what message will this invitation send to our Catholic youth?

The AOH is the largest Irish American Catholic organization in the United States. We contribute to the education of young people who attend Notre Dame. Father, I met you last year at our annual Notre Dame meeting, and listened to you speak prior to the Pittsburgh game. Accordingly, I am shocked that this invitation was even considered.

The fact that President Obama has authorized Embryonic Stem Cell Research funding, is allowing U.S. tax dollars to flow to international agencies which provide abortions, and he is cooperating with the United Nations, even though it has rescinded the Executive Order that allowed health care workers the right to refuse to participate in abortions or other actions contrary to their religious beliefs. All of this is more than reason enough to withdraw this invitation.

I hope that you re - consider your invitation to President Obama to be the guest speaker at the May commencement and select another speaker who would be more acceptable to the teachings of Notre Dame and the Catholic Church.

Seamus Boyle
National President
Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, Inc.

UCC Alumni - Dinner - May 6th

Inaugural UCC Alumni Dinner

University College Cork (UCC) is hosting an inaugural New York Alumni Dinner for graduates and friends at:
The Princeton Club of New York
Wednesday, May 6th, 2009.

The evening will begin with a drinks reception in the Prospect Lounge at the Princeton Club followed by a three course dinner with wine. Tickets are $100 per person, which includes service charge and sales tax. The President of UCC, Dr Michael Murphy, looks forward to meeting US based graduates and updating all on UCC news. As places are limited, please reserve early. To reserve a place, or book a table, please contact Karen Kelly with your credit card details on +353 21 490 3643. You may also pay by cheque.

Please mark the cheque for the attention of Cork University Foundation, New York Alumni Dinner and send it to: Karen Kelly, UCC Development and Alumni Office, Glenlee, Western Road, Cork. The final date for receipt of bookings is Friday, April 24th. Upon receipt of payment you will be issued with a ticket, which will grant you entry to the UCC New York Alumni Dinner.

Please remember to include a note with your name and a postal address if you decide to pay by cheque. If you have any questions, or would like further information, you can email k.kelly@ucc.ie
Inaugural New York UCC Alumni Dinner

Date: Wednesday, 6th May, 2009
Time: 7 pm
Venue: The Princeton Club, 15 West 43rd Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
New York, NY 10036
Dress Code: Smart

Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible on May 6th.

Please also forward this email to any fellow graduates or friends of UCC based in the area.

Karen Kelly
Development Manager
University College Cork

Tel: +353 (0)21 490 3643

Is Notre Dame Still Catholic?

Is Notre Dame Still Catholic?
Patrick J. Buchanan

By inviting Barack Obama to deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary degree at Notre Dame, the Rev. John Jenkins has polarized the Catholic community nationwide -- and raised a question. What does it mean to be a Catholic university in post-Christian America?
Are there truths about faith and morality that are closed to debate at Notre Dame? Or is Notre Dame like London's Hyde Park, where all ideas and all advocates get a hearing?
To Catholics, abortion is the killing of an unborn child, a premeditated breach of God's Commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill." The case is closed for all time. Any who participate in an abortion are excommunicated. Catholic politicians from Nancy Pelosi to Joe Biden who support a "woman's right to choose" have been denounced from pulpits and denied Communion. Obama, however, is the most pro-abortion president ever. On his third day in office, by executive order, he repealed the Bush prohibition against using tax dollars to fund agencies abroad that perform abortions.

He supports partial-birth abortion, where a baby's soft skull is sliced open with scissors in the birth canal and its brains sucked out to ease its passage, a procedure Sen. Pat Moynihan said "comes as close to infanticide as anything I have seen in our judiciary." In the Illinois legislature, Obama helped block the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, a bill to save the lives of infant survivors of abortion. He voted to allow doctors and nurses to let these tiny babies die of neglect and be tossed out with the medical waste. Barack is committed to signing the Freedom of Choice Act, which would repeal every federal and state restriction on abortion. He has smoothed the path for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

Notre Dame, a university that teaches that all innocent human life is sacred, will thus honor a leader determined to ensure that a woman's right to destroy her unborn child in the womb remains unrestricted.There is thus a direct clash between what Notre Dame professes to stand for and what Notre Dame is doing. Says Ralph McInerny, a philosophy professor since 1955: "By inviting Barack Obama to be the 2009 commencement speaker, Notre Dame has forfeited its right to call itself a Catholic University.... (T)his is a deliberate thumbing of the collective nose at the Roman Catholic Church to which Notre Dame purports to be faithful.

"Faithful? Tell it to Julian the Apostate."

McInerny calls Father Jenkins' invitation to Obama worse than the "usual effort of the university to get into warm contact with the power figures of the day. It is an unequivocal abandonment of any pretense at being a Catholic university." An honorary degree, writes Catholic author George Weigel, is a statement that here is a man we should admire and emulate. But how can a Catholic university say that about a man who means to appoint Supreme Court justices who will keep constitutional and legal the systematic slaughter of the unborn that has taken 50 million lives in 35 years? Can Father Jenkins not see the contradiction here that renders Notre Dame a morally incoherent institution?

Diocesan Bishop John D'Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend has told Father Jenkins he will not be attending commencement because of Obama's support of embryonic stem cell research.
Said the bishop, "While claiming to separate policies from science, (Obama) has in fact separated science from ethics and has brought the American government, for the first time in history, into supporting direct destruction of innocent human life."

Pope Benedict has yet to be heard from. But on his visit to the United States, he declared that any appeal to academic freedom "to justify positions that contradict the faith and teaching of the church would obstruct or even betray the university's identity and mission."
Does not honoring the most visible pro-abortion advocate in America "betray the identity and mission" of Notre Dame? Father Jenkins says the invitation "should not be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of human life."
But what Notre Dame is saying with this invitation is that Obama's 100 percent support for policies and programs that bring death to more than a million unborn children every year is no disqualification to being honored by a university dedicated to Our Lady who carried to term the Son of God.

Chris Carrington, a political science major, regards the opposition to Obama's appearance as un-Catholic: "To not allow someone here because of their beliefs would seem a little hypocritical and contradictory to what the mission of the university and church should be." The obtuse Carrington has stumbled on the relevant question: Is Notre Dame still a repository, teacher and exemplar of eternal truths about God and Man, right and wrong, whose mission is to convey and defend those truths in a hostile world? Or has Notre Dame joined the secularists in their endless scavenger hunt to seek and find truth in the marketplace of ideas?

Courtesy of disillusioned former altar boy

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Reaction - Notre Dame Outrage

“Indeed, as a Catholic University, Notre Dame must ask itself, if by this decision it has chosen prestige over truth… Let us ask Our Lady to intercede for the university named in her honor, that it may recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige.”

Most Rev. John D’Arcy – Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend

“I find the invitation very disappointing. . . Particularly troubling is the Honorary Law Degree since it recognizes that the person is a ‘Teacher,’ in this case of the Law. I think that this decision requires charitable but vigorous critique.”

Most Rev. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo – Archbishop of Galveston - Houston

“It is a public act of disobedience to the Bishops of the United States.”

Most Rev. Thomas Olmsted – Bishop of Phoenix

“In my opinion, it is very clear that in this case the University of Notre Dame does not live up to its Catholic identity in giving this award and their leadership needs our prayerful support.”

Most Rev. Gregory Aymond – Bishop of Austin

. . . our nation's President has embraced abortion as a tool of social engineering like no other President has dared. His votes and his policies as a Senator and as a President show him to be not just a 'rights' activist but a persecutor of the most defenseless amongst us. He has promised again and again to sign the most extreme bill supporting unlimited abortion, removal of conscience clauses for medical professionals, punishment of Catholic hospitals, mandates for abortion training and insurance companies abortion coverage etc.

He has accepted an invitation to speak at Notre Dame's commencement. The invitation is a consumate disgrace and the President's eager acceptance of it is proof positive he wants to use this as a cover. I wholeheartedly endorse (the) proposal that we discontinue and sever all ties to the University unless and until it comes to its senses. If they never got another dime from us they have been well served by the AOH and this is the thanks we get?? All colleges are big businesses and ND is no exception. However it uses this "Catholic heritage" phrase when fund raising. What a wonderful example the AOH could set for the Irish people, for the nation and for the defense of Church to announce they will no longer give a dime to ND. Who knows what may follow? We might start a trickle and then an avalanche.

AOH leader, New York

We have done our saber rattling, which I totally agree with, regarding the President giving the commencement speech and receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame. Notre Dame has rendered their decision not to retract their invitation. Now the time has come "to fish or cut bait".
I believe that since we have, to our everlasting credit, taken this very strong position in defense of our Catholic faith and the culture of life, we are left with no other choice but to sever relations with Notre Dame.

AOH leader, Massachussetts

Good on yer cobber!

Our loyal and steadfast allies!

Advance Australia Fair!

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told recently to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd angered some Australian Muslims by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques.

'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians . . .

This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom . . . We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language! . . . Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture . . .

We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us . . . This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, THE RIGHT TO LEAVE . . . If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'

U.S. political representatives, take note!
Maybe if we circulate this amongst ourselves, WE will find the courage to start speaking and voicing the same truths.

Courtesy of "one of the banner people" in the New York County Cork Association

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bishop Blasts Notre Dame President

Bishop Olmsted Blasts ND President Fr. Jenkins, Cites USCCB Policy Conflict

Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix wrote by e-mail to Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. yesterday, March 25, to express his disapproval of the “grave mistake” of inviting pro-abortion President Barack Obama to commencement. This news comes as the national petition protesting Notre Dame’s decision to honor Obama, at
NotreDameScandal.com, surpasses 167,000 supporters. “The message is unequivocal and unrelenting: there is no way for Notre Dame to justify honoring President Obama given his clear record on issues that stand in direct opposition to fundamental Catholic teachings,” said Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society.

Bishop Olmsted’s opposition joins that of Notre Dame’s Bishop John D’Arcy, who on Tuesday, March 24, announced his public boycott of the May 17 commencement ceremonies because of the honor provided President Obama. Both bishops cited the USCCB June 2004 Statement, “Catholics in Political Life,” as support for their opposition. That statement says, “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” Also yesterday, nearly a dozen student groups from Notre Dame launched the website www.NDResponse.com, outlining their protest and opposition to the selection of President Obama as commencement speaker.

In his e-mail to Father Jenkins, Bishop Olmsted called the selection of Obama “a public act of disobedience to the Bishops of the United States,” and a “grave mistake.” Mike Phelan, Director of Marriage and Respect Life for the Diocese of Phoenix, gave the following introduction to Bishop Olmsted’s letter to Father Jenkins. "Due to the fact that the invitation by Notre Dame’s president, Fr. John Jenkins, to President Barack Obama to give the commencement speech at Notre Dame’s May graduation is a public act causing widespread public scandal due to the U.S. President’s clear support of policies which fail to protect and even attack innocent human life, Bishop Olmsted has given permission to release the attached email text publicly."

Bishop Thomas Olmsted

Letter From Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Diocese of Phoenix to Fr. Jenkins, President of Notre Dame

To enlarge letter, click on it.

Is Obama worth a Mass?

The Catholic Thing
Sunday, 22 March 2009

By Ralph McInerny
Now that the abortion president will be honored and feted and listened to at Notre Dame’s commencement, the question becomes, who will say the commencement Mass?

The University of Notre Dame has officially and with much self-satisfaction invited President Barack Obama to address its 2009 graduates and to receive an honorary law degree. Not to put too fine a point on it, this is a deliberate thumbing of the collective nose at the Roman Catholic Church to which Notre Dame purports to be faithful. Faithful? Tell it to Julian the Apostate.

That someone who procures or advocates abortion thereby excludes himself from communion with the Church has been clear doctrine all along, and increasingly bishops have found the courage to tell those Catholic politicians who are the great enablers of abortion legislation that they cannot receive Holy Communion. Is it any worse to celebrate such a politician as Barack Obama? So where does that put ND President Father Jenkins? He can hardly say Mass without receiving the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, so doubtless he will recuse himself and have someone else say the Mass. But to whom will he go? All his cohorts must come under the same cloud as he. Perhaps the pastor of the president’s erstwhile church in Chicago will be invited to harangue the assembled graduates and parents and faculty – those who can bring themselves to attend commencement this year. Why not?

Perhaps because, having been reminded of the sermons he heard over the years, Barack Obama distanced himself, as they say, from the fiery orator at whose feet he sat for decades. In this, whatever his motives, he has perhaps pointed a way for the Notre Dame administrators to redeem themselves. Perhaps they are unaware of Obama’s record on abortion. Perhaps they have not been paying attention to what he has already done as president. On being reminded of all this, and mindful of the parlous position this puts them into vis-a-vis the Church if they thus celebrate the president, perhaps they will as publicly rescind their invitation as they have issued it? Don’t count on it.

Continue reading, click below:

Fighting Irish Lawmakers Hopping Mad

From TheHill.com

Fighting Irish lawmakers mad over Obama’s honor

By Betsy Rothstein and Kris Kitto
Several Republican lawmakers who are Notre Dame alumni are strongly criticizing the school for inviting President Obama to give a commencement speech — and for giving the him an honorary degree. The lawmakers say the president’s views on abortion run counter to Catholic beliefs, and that it is inappropriate to honor him with a degree.

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), who is mulling a Senate run in New York, where Obama won with more than 60 percent of the vote in 2008, said Obama should be allowed to speak, but opposed his receiving the degree. “It would be appropriate for Notre Dame to invite the president of the United States to deliver the commencement address, provided that the university made it absolutely clear how strongly it disagreed with President Obama’s stand on abortion,” King said. “It is wrong, however, for Notre Dame to award President Obama an honorary degree, because this will be seen as tacit acceptance of the president’s abortion views, which are so antithetical to Catholic moral teaching on the sanctity and value of human life.”

Tougher words came from Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.). “It’s an extreme disappointment,” said Lungren, whose father, two brothers, son and three nieces also graduated from Notre Dame. Lungren cited Obama’s abortion views, and his recent decision to rescind a Bush administration rule that strengthened job protections for doctors and nurses who refuse to perform abortions for moral reasons. Lungren plans to contact people he knows at Notre Dame “to find out what their excuse is.” The comments come as an online petition asking Notre Dame’s president to halt the “travesty” of Obama speaking at graduation gathers steam. The petition had more than 130,000 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon.

Republican Rep. Mark Souder (Ind.), another Notre Dame alumnus, also voiced concern over this year’s speaker. Souder said it is “an honor” for a president to visit the university — but pointed to abortion and even Obama’s views on school vouchers as affronts to the Catholic faith. “He received the invitation out of respect for his position as leader of our nation, not as an endorsement of his personal views,” said Souder, who received a master’s degree in business administration from Notre Dame.

Two Democrats who graduated from Notre Dame, Reps. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.), did not respond to requests for comment. Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), a former faculty member, also did not respond to a call. Donnelly’s district includes Notre Dame’s campus.

Courtesy of Deepthroat on the Hill

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Fighting Irish Say 'NO!'

Notre Dame Student Groups Denounce University's Choice for Commencement Speech

NOTRE DAME, IN, 25 March 2009 — A number of student groups at the University of Notre Dame issued a statement today repudiating the University’s selection of President Barack Obama to deliver its 2009 Commencement Address. The statement criticizes the president’s position on abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and other life issues, and chastises University administration for apparently looking over what they termed "fundamental moral principles."

The statement responds to Friday afternoon’s announcement of Obama as the speaker for the University’s 164th Commencement. Citing Catholic teaching on abortion, as well as the US Bishops’ 2004 document "Catholics in Political Life," which deals with issues surrounding a Catholic response to politicians who advocate abortion, the student statement expresses “deepest opposition” to the decision. "This is not a partisan issue; rather, it’s an issue of respect for human life, and our Catholic character. We want to emphasize that we are not attacking the office of the President, but taking issue with his moral stances. I think the statement makes it clear that the student body of Notre Dame is not unequivocally in favor of this decision,” said senior Emily Toates of Notre Dame Right to Life.

An Ad Hoc committee sponsored by a coalition of University-sponsored student groups has been organized to lead student response. These groups include Notre Dame Right to Life, Jus Vitae (Notre Dame Law School Right to Life), the Irish Rover independent student newspaper, Notre Dame College Republicans, The University of Notre Dame Anscombe Society, The Identity Project of Notre Dame, Notre Dame Knights of the Immaculata, Notre Dame Children of Mary, the Orestes Brownson Council, Notre Dame Law St. Thomas More Society, and the Federalist Society of the Notre Dame Law School.

In defense of the unborn, we wish to express our deepest opposition to Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.’s invitation of President Barack Obama to be the University of Notre Dame’s principal commencement speaker and the recipient of an honorary degree. Our objection is not a matter of political partisanship, but of President Obama’s hostility to the Catholic Church’s teachings on the sanctity of human life at its earliest stages. His recent dedication of federal funds to overseas abortions and to embryonic stem cell research will directly result in the deaths of thousands of innocent human beings. We cannot sit by idly while the University honors someone who believes that an entire class of human beings is undeserving of the most basic of all legal rights, the right to live.

The University’s decision runs counter to the policy of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops against honoring pro-choice politicians. In their June 2004 statement Catholics in Political Life, the bishops said, “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors, or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” Fr. Jenkins defends his invitation by saying that it does not honor or suggest support for the President’s views on abortion, but rather support for his leadership. But our “fundamental moral principles” must be respected at all times. And the principle that requires us to refrain from the direct killing of the innocent has a special status even among the most fundamental principles. President Obama’s actions have consistently shown contempt for this principle, and he has sought political gain by making light of its clear political implications. Leadership that puts the lives of the most innocent at risk is leadership we must disdain. In the face of President Obama’s actions, Father Jenkins’ words ring hollow.

It is a great irony that the University has chosen to award President Obama an honorary law degree. As the oldest Catholic law school in the country, the Notre Dame Law School states that its mission is “to facilitate greater understanding of and commitment to the relationship between law and social justice.” The social justice issue of our day is the deliberate, legal attack on the most vulnerable members of society, the unborn. To award a Notre Dame law degree to a lawyer and politician who has used the law to deny equality to the unborn diminishes the value of the degree itself.

Additionally, Fr. Jenkins has placed some of his students in a moral dilemma as to whether they should attend their own graduation. Many pro-life seniors, along with their families, are conflicted about whether to participate in the commencement ceremony. The lack of concern for these devoted sons and daughters of Notre Dame, who love this University and the Catholic principles on which it was built, is shameful.

In response to the University’s decision, we pledge ourselves to acts of witness that will be characterized by respect, prayerfulness, outspoken fidelity to the Church, and true concern for the good of our University. It is appropriate that only members of the Notre Dame community lead all such protests, and we ask outside groups to respect our responsibilities in this regard. Over the next several weeks, in response to this scandal, our organizations will host various academic and religious events to engage the University community. We request any groups who are committed to respectful actions to support our efforts, thereby ensuring a unified front and a more compelling public witness.

In Notre Dame,
Notre Dame Right to Life
The Irish Rover Student Newspaper
Notre Dame College Republicans
The University of Notre Dame Anscombe Society
Notre Dame Identity Project
Militia of the Immaculata Children of Mary
Orestes Brownson Council
Notre Dame Law School Right to Life
Notre Dame Law St Thomas More Society
The Federalist Society at Notre Dame Law School

Protest Impending Notre Dame Scandal

The Fighting Irish Say No to Obama at Notre Dame!

Tens of Thousands have signed to stop this travesty!

Stay updated at: www.notredamescandal.com

President Barack Obama - Commencement Speaker at Notre Dame

Help Stop the Scandal at Our Lady's University!

Join the petition opposing Notre Dame's decision to host and honor President Barack Obama at commencement.

The Cardinal Newman Society, CatholicVote.org & tens of thousands of petitioner say NO!!!!

For insightful commentary: National Review and The Catholic Thing. Plus continuing coverage: American Papist

1. Add your name to the petition to Fr. John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame by clicking here.

2. Invite your friends to sign the petition by clicking here.

3. Contact Fr. Jenkins: Call him at 574.631.5000, fax him at 574.631.2770, write a personal email president@nd.edu, or mail your letter to 317 Main Building, Notre Dame, IN 465564. Pray for Our Lady's intercession that Notre Dame, which is named after our Lady, will stay true to its Catholic heritage and identity.

PETITION to Father Jenkins, President of the University of Notre Dame

Dear Father Jenkins:
It has come to our attention that the University of Notre Dame will honor President Barack Obama as its commencement speaker on May 17. It is an outrage and a scandal that “Our Lady’s University,” one of the premier Catholic universities in the United States, would bestow such an honor on President Obama given his clear support for policies and laws that directly contradict fundamental Catholic teachings on life and marriage.

This nation has many thousands of accomplished leaders in the Catholic Church, in business, in law, in education, in politics, in medicine, in social services, and in many other fields who would be far more appropriate choices to receive such an honor from the University of Notre Dame. Instead Notre Dame has chosen prestige over principles, popularity over morality. Whatever may be President Obama’s admirable qualities, this honor comes on the heels of some of the most anti-life actions of any American president, including expanding federal funding for abortions and inviting taxpayer-funded research on stem cells from human embryos. The honor also comes amid great concern among Catholics nationwide about President Obama’s future impact on American society, the family, and the Catholic Church on issues such as traditional marriage, conscience protections for Catholic doctors and nurses, and expansion of abortion “rights.”

This honor is clearly a direct violation of the U.S. bishops’ 2004 mandate in “Catholics in Political Life”: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

We prayerfully implore you to halt this travesty immediately. We do so with the hope that Catholics nationwide will likewise call on you to uphold the sacred mission of your Catholic university. May God grant you the courage and wisdom to do what is right.
Click Here to Add Your Name

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Salutations, Mutterings & Utterings

"Boo, boo, booooo!" - Mna agus fir na Ciarrai exercising their First Amendment rights to protest the favorable references to Obama and Uncle Teddy by a speaker at the recent New York Kerrymen’s banquet.

Line of the night! Cunning, subtle and deadly!
"When I came to this country in 1960, John F. Kennedy was president. Now we have another great president . . . Tom Kennedy, president of the Kerrymen." - An honoree at the recent New York Kerrymen’s banquet.

"There are ‘smaarth min’ in Dublin. But there are ‘smaaarther min’ in Kerry." - Anonymous, formerly Castleisland, Co. Kerry

"Pat, Great to hear from you and thanks for posting my articles. I look forward to following your blog. I'd love to hear from the Mayo men."
Irish American (Mayo) Yonkers City councilman, attorney, author & Weather Underground terrorist group attack survivor

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Daniel O'Donnell and de Kerryman

"Is it really YOU?" The awestruck Kerryman managed to utter into his guthan, at his residence in Monroe, Orange County.
"It sounds like YOU, but is it really YOU?" he said to the voice on the other end of the transAtlantic telephone line.

And, indeed, it was HIM! Donegal’s favorite son, Daniel O’ Donnell calling thar saile to wish Two - Mile - School, Killarney man and New York Kerrymen’s Past President Dermot Myers good wishes and a speedy recovery from his recent serious illness. A thoughtful and much appreciated gesture, Daniel!
We suspect that it was the Kerryman’s "mudder - in - law", O’Donnell’s # 1 Super Fan back in Co. Limerick, Sadie Donovan, who arranged the confab.

Jimmy O’Connor, formerly Kenmare, a past president of the Kerrymen’s and an inspiration to us all, was practically doing somersaults around the Astoria Manor at the recent Kerry Banquet. Jimmy was the guest of honor on the night. A few years ago, this Kerryman was at death’s door but he clawed his way back to fight another day. Within a year or two of his illness, Jimmy ran the New York City marathon in five and a half hours, raising thousands of dollars for charity.
So a Dhiarmada, the gauntlet has been thrown down. Guess what you will be getting for Christmas - running shoes and a track suit - and in this battle of the Kerry past presidents, we expect you to shave at least half an hour off of O’Connor’s time.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Caomhin O Caolain & The N.Y. Irish

Caoimhin O Caolain & the New York Irish

Wake up & smell the coffee . . .
By Patrick Hurley

Congratulations to Leitrim’s Joe McManus on his election as president of the United Irish Counties of New York. His installation was held on Valentine’s eve at the building of the Irish American Society of Nassau, Suffolk and Queens, in Mineola, Nassau County. A fine edifice! A credit to the organization’s founding fathers and, indeed, founding mothers, who banded together decades ago. We understand that there may have been at least one Skibbereen man in among them - John O’Regan, RIP, one of the shoemaker’s sons from Bridge Street. Certainly, the West Cork involvement continues. Denis O’Sullivan, formerly Kealkil, Bantry, was observed ar fud na haite, back and forth to the bar and kitchen with food and empties, mopping up spills, giving directions to the uninitiated and endeavoring to maintain some semblance of order.

Whether you agree with the radical left wing politics of Sinn Fein or you don’t, it was an honor for President McManus that Cavan/Monaghan Sinn Fein TD Caoimhin O Caolain was on hand as installation officer. In 1984, Joe McManus emigrated from Leitrim, joining thousands of his fellow political and economic exiles, as they set up home along Broadway and Bainbridge Avenue, in The Bronx, and in neighborhoods like Woodside and Sunnyside in Queens and Bayridge in Brooklyn. We first encountered the Leitrim man over twenty years ago, as he did the rounds of the Irish American fairs, festivals and feiseanna promoting the periodical "The Spirit of Freedom". We, ourselves, were on the IIRM roadshow. Activists, especially those on the margins, no matter the stripe, hue or cut of gib, share a common soul.

Unlikely to have been embraced by the Southern Irish establishment - you wouldn’t have found it on the stands in Easons - "The Spirit of Freedom" was an intellectually stimulating publication that provided a viewpoint not countenanced in Southern Irish society of the time, stifled as it was by the heavy hand of official and unofficial censorship. Empirical evidence has suggested, and as O Caolain implied in his address, that over the years Joe was no armchair activist, either here or on the "other side". Suffice it to say that he is a man of his convictions and has never been afraid to jump into the bearna baol when required. Accordingly, New York’s "Belfast Brigade" was well represented with no shortage of the boys from Fermanagh, Tyrone, Monaghan and other strongholds.

Despite the supposed rapprochement between the various strands of Irish nationalism - what’s left of Irish nationalism that is - Iveagh House had no representation. Perhaps the Foreign Affairs mandarins would have been too uncomfortable with the inevitable talk of times, and things, past. Perhaps they felt that their presence would only have conjured up the proverbial 800 pound gorilla in the room; that the specter of glaring inconsistencies and ironies would have hovered o’er the evening.

The balance of O Caolain’s remarks was seriously out of date. One could have imagined the interaction between O Caolain and his staff, "I’m off to America. Dust off the Irish American speech, and get me a few pieces of Waterford Crystal. Er . . . Caomhin we have the speech but getting the Waterford could be a bit of a problem." Yaaaaawwwwn! It was redundant clichéd oratory of the "Brits Out" and "Ireland United, Gaelic and Free" genre. Apparently, not unlike the other denizens of Kildare Street and the Mandarins of Iveagh House, O Caolain is wedded to the same misperception of Irish Americans – "The Yanks. Ah sure, they’d swallow anything!"

Unfortunately for the Irish establishment, Irish Americans are not stuck in a time warp and do not succumb to a collective amnesia at the first strains of "Danny Boy". The comely dancing colleens, the crystal, and the Shamrocks make for nice symbolism but that’s it. Irish Americans have real expectations of the "old country" and, in recent years, those expectations have fallen far short. The "Yanks" have duly noted the less than lukewarm support from the Irish Government for our efforts in the war against radical Islam. Irish Americans have recoiled with disgust at the rampant anti - Americanism that pervades from Malin Head to Mizen Head. That phenomenon and the more specific "Bush Derangement Syndrome" that has gripped the country will make it all the more difficult to ease the passage of an anticipated new generation of Irish illegals into legitimacy.

"Europe's nations should be guided towards the super-state without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation." - Jean Monnet, founder of the European Movement

But we digress slightly. T-anam an diabhal, Caoimhin mo bhuachaill when you speak of an Ireland United, Gaelic and Free, what manifestation do you see this Utopia assuming? The Southern Irish state is now merely a European colony. A protectorate of the European Reich, administered from Brussels. In exchange for ephermal treasures, establishment politicos of all hues and stripes, like junkies looking for their next fix and aided and abetted by the chattering classes, have enthusiastically sold off wide swathes of Irish sovereignty. Notwithstanding that Fianna Fail is in power, all the establishment parties have collaborated in this endeavor. Like that same junkie, incapable of coming to terms with reality, the politicos, the opiners and the chattering classes debate incessantly the irrelevant propositions of replacing Fianna Fail with a Fine Gael/Labour coalition, of bringing back Bertie Ahern, of demoting Mary Coughlan etc. . . etc. . . . ad infinitum, without seeming to grasp that none of these would make the slightest difference in responding to the economic crisis, which grips the former Celtic Tiger. Taoisigh or cabinet ministers no longer have any executive power. They are now merely well - compensated middle managers delivering to the Irish people the diktats of their faceless aloof undemocratic European masters. Incredibly, over two thirds of Irish laws now originate in Brussels. So Caomhin, mo bhuachaill with what do you see the "Fourth Green Field" uniting?

"The fusion (of economic functions) would compel nations to fuse their sovereignty into that of a single European State." - Jean Monnet, founder of the European Movement, 3 April 1952

"The 11, soon to be 12, member States adopting the euro have already given up part of their sovereignty, monetary sovereignty, and formed a monetary union, and that is the first step towards a federation." - German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Financial Times, 7 July 2000

The recent spectacle of Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan whining about the British manipulating sterling to make their exports more attractive would have been laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic. Understandably, the move is detrimental to Southern Ireland. Apparently, the border counties have been devastated as people go north in droves to shop for bargains. But earth to Brian. . . shock, horror . . . that is what independent sovereign nations generally do. They promote their own interests. Southern Ireland would of course be playing the same currency manipulation game . . . But wait! . . . Control over Irish fiscal and monetary policy – the core elements of sovereignty - was long ago surrendered to Brussels.

"The time for individual nations [in Europe] having their own tax, employment and social policies is definitely over. We must finally bury the erroneous ideas of nations having sovereignty over foreign and defence policies. National sovereignty will soon prove itself to be a product of the imagination." - Gerhard Schroder, Chancellor of Germany, January 1999

It is indeed difficult to appreciate that not even a hundred years ago our parents, grandparents and great - grandparents fought and died to establish a sovereign Irish state, and now the contemporary political establishment and their media enablers have cheerfully surrendered their legacy of independence to Brussels without a shot been fired. Panicked and powerless, like the junkie seeking to score, the same establishment is intent on "selling out" what’s left of sovereignty by coercing the increasingly disillusioned Irish electorate into driving the last few nails into the coffin of independent nationhood by supporting Lisbon # 2. Hey, prestige and well paid Euro jobs for the "boys". . . what matter Sean & Sibohan Citizen

"If it's a Yes, we will say 'on we go', and if it's a No we will say 'we continue.'"Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg Prime Minster and holder of the EU Presidency, Daily Telegraph, 28 May 2005

That same establishment now arrogantly presumes that it should form "An all-party government, drawn from the main parties for a three-year period, with the possibility of extending it" . . . and of course this national government, "would need some exceptional powers for at least three years to insulate it against the unpopularity of the decisions that have to be made." An arrogant, blatant, cynical power grab in the midst of an economic crisis demonstrating complete disdain for the intellect of the ordinary Irish citizen. Does Sean and Siobhan Citizen really want this cabal of failed sychophantic politicos and their fat cat enablers "the Golden Circle" invested with such power, unfettered by a credible opposition to hold them accountable. From such scenarios doth dictatorships spring. There must be a general election and the people must render their verdict. And does Sean and Siobhan Citizen really believe that unaccountable, unelected elitist bureaucrats in Brussels would really be concerned about conditions in West Cork, Kerry, Galway West or Donegal. Even the home grown Teacthai Dala lose touch with the people – e.g. Lisbon #1 - and have to have their feet held to the fire every few years.

Considering the illusion that was the Celtic Tiger, how embarassing for all of us with Irish blood in our veins is it for former taoiseach, Bertie Ahern to be traveling from pillar to post promoting himself as having sired said Tiger. Is’nt it about time that Bertie ended this surreal pantomime, stopped making the proverbial "show" of himself and just slipped quietly away into the sunset?

"It (the EU) is one of the few institutions we can develop as a balance to US world domination."- Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson in Gothenburg, New York Times, 15 June 2001

Irish Americans, as U.S. citizens, also consider the American dimension of the coerced endeavor to form a European Superstate. One of the stated objectives of such a project is to counter U.S. power and influence i.e "U.S. world domination". Eh! . . . Just how many people has "neutral" Sweden liberated from oppression recently? Next time there is a "European" problem in the Balkans why should American kids be going into harm’s way? Perhaps it is time, as has been so often suggested, to repatriate those American kids that "lie in the corner of some foreign field" all over Europe? The drive towards a Euro Superstate is inherently anti -American and any Europhillic advocate no matter the national hat of convenience, Irish, British, French, German Swedish etc., he may be currently hiding under, is no friend of the United States. Irish Americans would prefer to keep the Irish cousins - as misguided as they are at times - within the American sphere of influence than to have them abused and manipulated as marginalized sans culotte by Europhillic elites with "high notions".

So Caoimhin, mo bhuachaill you will understand that in the context, your reference to the recent ninetieth anniversary of the First Dail sounded disconnected and unworldly. You presumed our naivete and expected us to jump euphorically to out feet. You were obviously perplexed and disappointed! The British - resistants that they are - are no longer the enemy. Indeed, they can be our ally in halting the steady encroachment of the EU dictatorship, which is having remarkable success at achieving by stealth what the armies of Napoleon and Hitler could not achieve by force of arms.

We are not against European cooperation. The concept as originally conceived, independent, sovereign nations, a "Europe des Patries", cooperating on issues of common concern was a laudable one. Problems began when this original relationship began stealthily evolving into a an undemocratic, unaccountable Euro Superstate, with the clear objective of eradicating the concept of the democratically conceived nation state.

We encountered Caoimhin in the bar afterwards and endeavored to elaborate our position. However, we got that evasive response that isn’t an answer. These Sinn Fein politicos have quickly cultivated the weave and dodge of the professional politician. In contemplating the last ninety years and in considering that the Southern Irish state might not even see a centennial, one cannot help usurping the words of Brendan "Darkie" Hughes, RIP, Belfast IRA commander when things were really hot: "What was it all about?"

Patrick Hurley is a past president of the County Cork Association of New York. In 1987, Hurley was a co-founder of the Irish Immigration Reform Movement, which went on to secure thousands of Green Cards for Irish and other European immigrants to the United States. Active in GOP and Conservative Party politics, he is a former candidate for political office in NYC. Patrick Hurley is a 1985 graduate of University College Cork.

The party is over

Ireland's economy
The party is definitely over
Mar 19th 2009 DUBLIN
From The Economist print edition
How wage cuts and tax rises might preserve the gains of Ireland’s Celtic Tiger years

DUBLIN is full of shiny new office buildings and retail outlets. But many are unoccupied, monuments to a construction boom that went bust. At one site, the football ground at Landsdowne Road, the cranes are not idle. The stadium is being renovated and will reopen in 2010. “At least someone is drawing a decent wage,” says one watching Dubliner.
This year’s St Patrick Day’s parties were glum, even in Washington, where Brian Cowen, the Irish taoiseach, gave Barack Obama the usual bunch of shamrock (see above). Ireland is having a deeper recession than any other euro area country. The economy probably shrank by 2.5% in 2008 and may contract by another 6.5% this year. Unemployment has jumped from 5% to 10.4%, a faster rise even than in America. Irish banks may be free of the toxic securities that have poisoned rivals’ balance sheets, but they are blighted by souring property loans. And a crisis in public finances has forced the government to bring in an emergency budget on April 7th.
To envious observers, Ireland’s fall from grace is an overdue payback for its previous swift rise. Between 1990 and 2007 the economy grew by an annual average of 6.5% (see chart 1). It is easy now to dismiss the rise in living standards in the “Celtic Tiger” years as illusory, particularly as Ireland enjoyed house-price and credit booms that were big even by British standards. But to focus on the bursting of the housing bubble would be to miss the lasting gains that were made.
Ireland’s expansion went through two phases. The first, led by exports and powered by foreign direct investment, ended roughly in 2002. Foreign companies, mainly American, provided bags of capital and know-how. Ireland offered in return a young, educated, English-speaking, low-cost workforce. State grants, a low corporate-tax rate and access to the EU’s single market made things sweeter.
That gave way to a period of growth on weaker foundations. Low interest rates, a consequence of euro membership, lit a fire under property prices and spurred a building and retailing boom. The boom got a fillip in 2004 as migrants from the EU’s new members flooded in. Continued growth gave the impression that all was well. But as one Irish economist notes, the Celtic Tiger had already vanished.
When the bubble burst, it left a legacy beyond the pile of unsold houses and bad debts. The housing boom had chipped away one pillar of Ireland’s appeal: its low costs. Inflation had picked up and unit labour costs (ie, pay adjusted for productivity) rose sharply relative to Ireland’s main trading partners. A recent study by the European Central Bank found that Irish unit labour costs had risen by a third between 1999 and 2007, the biggest jump in the euro area. A healthy current-account surplus in the mid-1990s had turned into a big deficit a decade later, a sign that Ireland had become too pricey.
One contributory factor was a big rise in public-sector wages after a 2002 review. State workers grumbled that they had been left behind by the private sector. The review led to a hefty increase in pay, a symptom also of a generally lax approach to public finances. Charlie McCreevy, finance minister between 1997 and 2004, scorned the notion that fiscal policy should lean against the business cycle. “When I have the money, I spend it. When I don’t, I don’t,” he once said. Cuts in income tax left public finances too dependent on windfall revenues from VAT on new homes, capital-gains tax and stamp duty. Those revenues dried up swiftly once house prices and sales slumped, pushing the budget into deep deficit.
The fragile economy and a continuing loss of competitiveness have made bond markets nervous about Ireland’s ability to dig itself out of its fiscal hole. The yield on Ireland’s ten-year government bonds, at 6%, is way above those of Germany, at 3.2%. Both countries borrow in euros, so the gap is a rough guide to how creditworthy investors consider Ireland to be.
One big concern is the cost of the state’s guarantee of bank debts, hurriedly given last September. The assets covered are worth 2-3 times annual GDP, not the 7-8 times quoted by some, says Patrick Honohan, at Trinity College, Dublin. The banking system looks big on paper but it is swollen by foreign banks with offices in Dublin and loans abroad. These are not key to Ireland’s economy, so the government does not have to stand behind them.
Even so some of the guaranteed banks’ assets are sure to turn bad. Kevin Daly at Goldman Sachs reckons total losses could be €20 billion ($27 billion), or 10% of GDP—mostly from bad loans to property companies. Even on gloomier assessments, the cost ought to be manageable, as Ireland’s public debt was low to start with.
Yet the pressing task remains to rein in the budget deficit. The mini-budget in April will be the fourth fiscal package in a year. In February, in the teeth of union opposition, the government introduced a levy on public-sector pensions that cut take-home pay by an average of 7.5%. The pain will intensify in April. Income-tax rates seem certain to rise, some capital projects may be put on ice and more current spending will be cut. The Irish insist on keeping their 12.5% corporate-tax rate. Still, once the economy bottoms out and new measures take their full effect, the 2010 deficit ought to be less scary to the markets.
Some economists would like an agreement that cuts public and private pay in tandem. As a euro member, Ireland cannot devalue to restore competitiveness. So wages must fall. Karl Whelan at University College, Dublin is sceptical that a co-ordinated pay cut is likely or even necessary. “This is a flexible market economy: with a 10% unemployment rate, wages will fall.” Indeed, they already are. A Dublin Chamber of Commerce survey found that nine out of ten firms were reducing or freezing pay; almost a third of respondents were cutting executive salaries by 10% or more.
Ireland’s response to austerity goes against the grain. In America and Britain, policy is geared to avoiding deflation, which raises the real cost of debt. But Ireland seeks salvation in lower wages, even though its households are also heavily indebted. Whereas many countries want to lift their economies by fiscal expansion, Ireland is tightening its budget. Few other countries face such big deficits. The Irish hope for a payoff in improved confidence among foreign investors and at home. Consumers are aware of the gap in the budget and know tax rises are coming, says Alan Barrett at ESRI, a research institute. Spending may even pick up if the uncertainty over taxes is ended.
There may be regrets about the excesses of the housing bubble, but not about Ireland’s globalised growth model.“The key is to turn the model back to export-led growth,” says Brian Lenihan, the finance minister. “So we have to attend to competitiveness.” For all its ills, Ireland has form when it comes to retrenchment: it cut debt sharply in the late 1980s. If adjustment within the euro means wage cuts, that is a price Ireland seems ready to pay.

Courtesy of "The Bagman" who enjoyed living off the fat of the Celtic Tiger

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chris Dodd's Irish 'Cottage'

Wall Street Journal


The Senate Ethics Committee has been looking into possible conflicts of interest in Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd's 2003 mortgages. Now questions about another Dodd real-estate adventure, this one in Ireland, should keep the Ethicists even busier. All the more because Mr. Dodd's "cottage" purchase involves a crooked stock trader for whom the Senator once did a very big political favor.
Mr. Dodd is already under a cloud for receiving what a former loan officer claims was preferential treatment from Countrywide Financial on two mortgage refinancings -- in Connecticut and Washington -- in 2003. Countrywide was an aggressive lender to shaky borrowers and relied heavily on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy those mortgages in bulk. As a senior Member of the Senate Banking Committee, Mr. Dodd was one of Fannie's greatest promoters. Mr. Dodd promised last year to disclose mortgage documents to prove he got no special treatment, but so far all he's done is let a few hand-picked journalists take a quick peek before he put the papers back in storage.

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Courtesy of "The Bagman", an unrepentant Irish American anarchist

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Obama wants to disarm U.S. pilots

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 12:19
By David A. Patten

The Obama administration is taking steps quietly to shut down the program that qualifies commercial airline pilots to carry firearms in jetliner cockpits in order to ward off another 9/11-type attack.
The administration recently diverted $2 million from a program to train and certify pilots to carry firearms safely while on duty. Instead, it is using the money to hire additional field inspectors to help discipline pilots who step out of line, according to a report in Tuesday’s Washington Times.
A Times editorial condemned the Obama administration's action, calling it “completely unnecessary harassment of the pilots.”
Since Obama took office, the approval process for certifying pilots to carry firearms has ground to a halt, the newspaper reports. Pilots are afraid to speak out about the behind-the-scenes maneuverings, for fear of retaliation, according to the newspaper. No cases have been reported in which pilots have brandished a weapon inappropriately or otherwise abused their eligibility to carry firearms.
About 12,000 pilots have been authorized to carry handguns while flying aircraft as part of the Federal Flight Deck Officers Program. Congress authorized the program in a 310-to-113 vote following the 9/11 attacks to help prevent terrorists from turning jetliners into flying bombs that could be used to attack key sites like the White House, the Pentagon, or Capitol Hill.
Paul Valone, a Second Amendment advocate who directs Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC.org), is calling for citizens to contract their congressional representatives to protest the administration’s anti-gun priorities.
Pilots are already required to pay for their own room and board during training, and use paid leave for the time they’re off the job. Every six months, the program requires them to be requalified for firearm use.
Valone writes on Examiner.com: “While bureaucrats . . . may have attempted to hamstring the program with burdensome requirements, training instructors and the Federal Air Marshals who now oversee the program routinely thank the FFDOs for their professionalism and dedication in protecting the nation’s air commerce against terrorism.”
Valone says the Obama administration is “dismantling yet another layer of defense against terrorism and defying the will of the American people.”
Since coming to power, the Obama administration has undertaken a series of moves that signal a major de-emphasis of programs enacted to keep America’s homeland safe from terrorist attack:
Obama’s choice for U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, labeled enhanced interrogation techniques as outright “torture” during his Senate confirmation hearings.
Obama banned waterboarding and ordered CIA interrogators to abide by U.S. Army Field Manual regulations.
He selected Clinton-era political operative Leon Panetta to serve as his CIA director. Panetta’s qualifications to run the agency have been questioned widely.
Obama announced that he would shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba within one year, raising the prospect of hardened terrorists entering the U.S. criminal justice system, or worse, being released to rejoin al-Qaida.
He indicated the U.S. defense budget would be sharply reduced.
He has sent a letter to Russian leaders, apparently offering to back off on the ballistic missile defense system that would protect Europe from Iran and North Korea.
These and other Obama administration moves recently prompted former vice president Dick Cheney to charge that Obama is returning to the Clinton-era view of terrorism as a law enforcement issue.
"Now he's made some choices that in my mind raise the risk to the American people of another attack," Cheney said of Obama on CNN's "State of the Union" program.
The Washington Times points out that about 70 percent of airline pilots have military backgrounds. With airport screening less than 100 percent effective, it states, armed pilots provide a second layer of defense.
“Only anti-gun extremists and terrorist recruits are worried about armed pilots,” the newspaper editorial says.
© 2009 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
Obama’s Economic Wrecking Ball Coming for You
Courtesy of Francois - veteran activist, columnist & journalist

The Neeson Family

Our thoughts and prayers are with Liam Neeson, his sons Micheal and Daniel and all the other family members, as they keep watch over their wife, mother, daughter and sister Natasha.

Go dtuga Dia suaimhneas daoibh!

Natasha Richardson & Liam Neeson


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Posted: 2:13 pmMarch 18, 2009
Natasha Richardson has "no chance" of recovery after suffering from "leakage of blood between the brain and skull," according to a family friend.
Family and friends of the gravely injured actress gathered at an Upper East Side hospital today to say goodbye to the British star.
Sources told The Post on Tuesday that Richardson is brain dead after hurting herself in a skiing accident.
Richardson's actress mom, Vanessa Redgrave, clad in a gray scarf, looked dazed and grim last night as she walked into Lenox Hill Hospital.
A few hours later, 45-year-old Richardson's TV-star sister, Joely Richardson, appeared on the verge of tears when she arrived.
"This is painful for the family. Please leave the family alone," said a woman who accompanied her.
Richardson, 45, was injured after what seemed to be a minor fall on a "bunny" slope during a skiing lesson near Montreal on Monday.
According to People magazine's Web site, Richardson suffered from "leakage of blood between the brain and skull," a family friend said.
"It is a fact that her heart is beating but she is brain dead," the friend added.
Her husband, actor
Liam Neeson, immediately left a movie shoot in Toronto to be by her side and accompanied her on the trip from Montreal to New York.
Before leaving, Richardson was seen in an ambulance wrapped in blankets with tubes covering her face, the Toronto Star reported. Neeson was with her, looking extremely worried.
The tearful trek home was made with Neeson and Richardson's two young sons in mind, according to friends. The family has an apartment on Central Park West and a home in Dutchess County, and the boys, ages 12 and 13, were believed to be at Lenox Hill last night.
The eldest boy, Michéal, was with Richardson on the slopes, while Daniel was in New York when the accident happened, friends said. Richardson fell during a private lesson at Mont Tremblant, about 80 miles northwest of Montreal.
She had been telling friends how excited she was to go on the trip, sources said.
After the fall, she initially told employees she felt fine, according to resort managers. But an hour later, she complained of a severe headache and was rushed to a nearby hospital.
The Broadway, movie and TV star was on a beginner's slope and reportedly not wearing a helmet when she fell. Headgear is not required.
"She did not show any visible sign of injury, but the ski patrol followed strict procedures and brought her back to the bottom of the slope and insisted she should see a doctor," said a statement from the resort.
"Approximately an hour after the incident, Mrs. Richardson was not feeling good."
Richardson was initially taken to the Centre Hospitalier Laurentien in Sainte Agathe, and was later transferred to Sacre-Coeur hospital in Montreal.
Her family is expected to release a statement later today.
The actress - whose father was the late, Oscar-winning director Tony Richardson - comes from a long line of noted British players. Maternal grandparents Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, along with uncle and aunt Corin and Lynn Redgrave, are all actors.
Joely Richardson appears on the FX show "Nip/Tuck."
Lynn Redgrave was also believed to be on her way to New York.
Natasha once said she wanted to make a career in the United States so she could dodge the "baggage of family" back home in Great Britain.

Why the Irish love America!

March 17, 2009

Congress’s most outspoken Irish-American reflects on his heritage

By Mark Hemingway
The Irish have a long and proud political tradition in the United States. In the land of opportunity, a willingness to take on hard work, a natural-born sense of community, and a cultivated way with words go a long way toward winning elected office. Perhaps no contemporary politician is a better proof of this than Long Island congressman Peter King (R.). King’s office, festooned with such notable pieces of décor as a large Notre Dame Fighting Irish rug and a framed poster for the Liam Neeson Irish revolutionary biopic Michael Collins, will quickly put you in the mood for a Guinness. The day before St. Patrick’s Day, National Review Online dropped by to talk about what it means to be an Irish-American. Though just one generation removed from his immigrant grandparents, King didn’t grow up seeing any difference between what it meant to be Irish and what it meant to be American. “I didn’t think of myself as having an immigrant upbringing,” he said. “My father put a flag up and down in front of the house every day until he went in the hospital and died. It was old-fashioned patriotism. Even among my grandparents during the Depression, there was this real feeling about not going on welfare. All of the traditional American values were imparted to me. But I thought everyone was like that.”
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A Prayer to Brian Cowen

Doing the rounds in cyberspace!


Courtesy of an Effin Limerick native who had the good sense to marry a Kerryman!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Civil unrest may force June poll

Ex-FF adviser predicts fury over harsh budget

Sunday March 15 2009
The country is facing the prospect of a general election on June 5 in the wake of three months of political turmoil and possible civil unrest following the emergency budget, according to former Fianna Fail strategist Noel Whelan.
The veteran political analyst believes the current administration could collapse as a result of the pressures that will follow what is expected to be the harshest budget in living memory.
Whelan is deeply pessimistic about the Government's ability to push through reforms desperately needed to fill a €4.5bn hole.
His prediction of a local, European and general election all on the same day -- June 5 -- is based on his fear that a tough budget will spark deep public anger and create instability among Government backbenchers, the Greens and supporting Independent deputies.
"I think the next 12 weeks are going to be some of the most tense weeks in Irish politics, with a budget scheduled at the beginning, April 7, Easter following after that. I think there is a real possibility we will have a general election on the June 5, actually, because of, I think, the intensity of the demands that are going to be on the Government and the political system generally...

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