The Common Ground

Vol. VIII, Issue 8


August 2010



Common Ground readers and other supporters of the Ireland Institute can now follow Jim on Twitter.

Log on to, and enter Jim's ID in the search tab.  His ID is Jim_Lamb.

You can now find us on Facebook! Go to and search Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, and ‘become a fan’ to find out the latest news about our visitors or upcoming events.








 The late Sr. Michele O’Leary told, me shortly after I was hired, that the Institute would likely close within five years.  Our success to that point, with unemployed young people returning to jobs in Ireland, and reports of greater mutual understanding among Protestants and Catholics, would ultimately make us redundant.  Every year we would face challenges from funders, governments, sponsors, and of course the young people themselves who seemed to have more social and educational difficulties than the year before.  And we would plow through, quietly delivering solid successful programs, year after year, anticipating calls for our closure.

 It turns out that these programs had such a profound impact on the Northern Ireland Peace Process that we are now in demand to solve other problems Ireland faces.

 Over the past twenty years, influential politicians, clergy, and academics on both sides of the water “talked” about theories and doctrines on conflict resolution, selling their highly publicized ideas, hosting big events, drawing significant resources, with no significant positive outcomes toward peace and reconciliation.  I learned that a crafty sales person can persuade even the smartest people to support ideas that don’t work.

 Instead of selling that Kool-Aid we actually demonstrated that young people from both sides of a sectarian war can live, work, and learn together, away from home.  And they can apply their newfound skills back to their home communities, challenging long held attitudes on religion, community relations, and partnership.

 Reconciliation in Ireland occurs among ordinary people who have developed the capacity to reach out across communities.  They have developed friendships among other religions, learned to share space, find common ground, and accommodate differences.  The “talkers” can talk all they want and push their ideas on how things should be.  But people on the ground must be prepared to thoughtfully and peacefully engage with their “enemy.”

 The efforts of the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh are now paying off.  The dirty war is over.  Our next major challenge is to help Ireland develop a diverse and sustainable economy.  Of course our reconciliation programs will continue, but new initiatives to develop professional and technical skills among young people, build capacity in knowledge based industries, create partnerships between Pittsburgh and Ireland, and foster two-way trade and investment will chart a new course for the Institute.  The Carbon Zero program, mentioned in this newsletter, is one of those initiatives.

Years ago I thought our successful reconciliation and training programs would ultimately lead to closure of the Institute.  I imagined that we would accomplish our mission and, marveling at the beautiful “cake” we made, we would call it quits. 

 But our work is not done. In order to SUSTAIN the peace, young people in Ireland must have opportunities for personal and professional development.  The Institute’s new programs are in response to that.  We will continue to tell our story by serving young people, creating opportunities, supporting the Pittsburgh-Ireland relationship, and proving over and over again that our programs deliver.

 We are fortunate to have our cake and eat it too.  On this occasion we celebrate the important role we played in the Peace Process and we now prepare ourselves for the daunting challenge of sustaining that peace.  I hope you will continue to support our good work, based not on what I’ve sold you, but on what you have witnessed yourself.




Please submit your feedback to:  Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh * Regional Enterprise Tower

 * 425 Sixth Avenue, Suite 1410 * Pittsburgh, PA 15219 or

Call/fax our offices:  Telephone:  (412) 394-3900  * Fax:  (412) 394-0502

To subscribe/unsubscribe or comment on this newsletter please send an email to:




                                                IIP NEWS


Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh

In service to peace

The Irish Castle Vacation Prize Raffle


Ashford Castle – Galway       Dromoland Castle – Limerick         Clontarf Castle – Dublin


Return airfare for two - 6 nights accommodations - Car rental for 1 week


 Donation $20

Winning ticket will be drawn December 13, 2010 at The Harp & Fiddle, 2329 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA15222  

For more information, contact the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh at 412-394-3900

Cash or Check made payable to Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh

 Prize Subject to availability of dates. Allow three weeks for booking.

 Clontarf Castle Accommodation donated by Clontarf Castle

Car Rental courtesy of Dooley Car Rental


The Pittsburgh Foundation will hold a 24-hour Day of Giving on October 13, 2010.  This is an online challenge for the Ireland Institute to receive matching funds from the Pittsburgh Foundation for donations made to the IIP on that day.  Credit card gifts only accepted during a 24-hour period on October 13th.  Go to, click on Donate now, enter organization name (Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh), and then click Donate now.









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The Irish government is to spend more than 36m euros on transferring 250,000 tonnes of illegal household and commercial waste which was illegally dumped in Northern Ireland. It will pay most of the cost while the NI tax payer will pay the rest.
Twenty sites in NI are believed to have been used for illegal cross border dumping between 2002 and 2004. Two sites in Fermanagh and Tyrone will be the first to be excavated.

The first consignments of waste will start being removed on Wednesday from an illegal dump in Fermanagh to an approved landfill facility in Donegal. Waste from a dump at Slattinagh, County Fermanagh, which is just over the border with County Leitrim will begin to be removed.  The work is due to take three to four weeks.  A further 18 sites have been identified by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) as containing illegally dumped municipal and commercial waste from the Republic. 
It is estimated that the work to clear these sites will take five years.

BBC NI's environment correspondent Mike McKimm said the problem had arisen because of the way the bin collection system works in the Republic. "You pay your money to a contractor and they empty your bin, unlike here where we have a council and it's all in the rates. So you ended up, certainly in the early years, with a contractor who had your waste and your money so when he went to get rid of the waste, the cheaper it was for him to dispose of it, the more profit he made and what happened was, they simply gave it to third parties who didn't want to know where it went and it went over the hedge into fields, ditches and bogs." Mike McKimm said the money made was "substantial". "Farmers who allowed it onto their land only got a few thousand pounds, we know that from court cases but the middle men who were organising, the brokers if you like, they were making millions of pounds," he added. 
"It was said you could make more moving waste than moving drugs at one stage." 
He outlined what it would cost the NI tax payer. "We're really only paying for some of the digging and the remediation of the site," he said.  "The hauling away and all the other costs which are very expensive, including the disposal will be the real cost."


The Limerick Tunnel under the River Shannon was officially opened this afternoon.
The tolled crossing cost €660m to construct and is designed to take 40,000 vehicles a day from Limerick city centre.  Taoiseach Brian Cowen described it as a key part of Ireland's national road infrastructure, which would improve access and support economic growth.

The new scheme comprises 10km of dual carriageway, 11 bridges, five underpasses, two toll plazas and its own traffic management system.  The 675-metre tunnel under the Shannon is described as the most challenging engineering part of the system. The new scheme was opened to traffic at 3.30pm and is tolled at €1.80 per car and up to €5.70 for heavy trucks.

Transport Minister Noel Dempsey said it would improve access to Limerick to Shannon Airport, Galway, Cork, Kerry and Dublin.  Mr. Dempsey added that by the end of the year all our major cities, along with towns between them, will be accessible via a world class road network.  Meanwhile, Minister Dempsey insisted there will be a train service between Dublin and Navan by 2016.

Yesterday, the Government announced that €39bn would be spent on infrastructure over the next five years, but the overall project has been cut by €1bn for spending this year.  Minister Dempsey was adamant that finances were available for the construction of the railway line to Navan.  He said construction would begin once planning permission has been granted.



A new superbug that is resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics has entered UK hospitals, experts warn.  They say bacteria that make an enzyme called NDM-1 have traveled back with NHS patients who went abroad to countries like India and Pakistan for treatments such as cosmetic surgery.

Although there have only been about 50 cases identified in the UK so far, scientists fear it will go global.  Tight surveillance and new drugs are needed says Lancet Infectious Diseases.  NDM-1 can exist inside different bacteria, like E.coli, and it makes them resistant to one of the most powerful groups of antibiotics - carbapenems.  These are generally reserved for use in emergencies and to combat hard-to-treat infections caused by other multi-resistant bacteria.  And experts fear NDM-1 could now jump to other strains of bacteria that are already resistant to many other antibiotics. 

Ultimately, this could produce dangerous infections that would spread rapidly from person to person and be almost impossible to treat. At least one of the NDM-1 infections the researchers analyzed was resistant to all known antibiotics.  Similar infections have been seen in the US, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands and international researchers say that NDM-1 could become a major global health problem.  Infections have already been passed from patient to patient in UK hospitals.

The way to stop NDM-1, say researchers, is to rapidly identify and isolate any hospital patients who are infected. Normal infection control measures, such as disinfecting hospital equipment and doctors and nurses washing their hands with antibacterial soap, can stop the spread.  And currently, most of the bacteria carrying NDM-1 have been treatable using a combination of different antibiotics.  But the potential of NDM-1 to become endemic worldwide is "clear and frightening", say the researchers in The Lancet infectious diseases paper.

The research was carried out by experts at Cardiff University, the Health Protection Agency and international colleagues.  Dr David Livermore, one of the researchers and who works for the UK's Health Protection Agency (HPA), said: "There have been a number of small clusters within the UK, but far and away the greater number of cases appear to be associated with travel and hospital treatment in the Indian subcontinent. "This type of resistance has become quite widespread there. The fear would be that it gets into a strain of bacteria that is very good at being transmitted between patients." He said the threat was a serious global public health problem as there are few suitable new antibiotics in development and none that are effective against NDM-1.

The Department of Health has already put out an alert on the issue, he said. "We issue these alerts very sparingly when we see new and disturbing resistance."









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The herpes virus causes cold sores.  Doctors say they have used a genetically engineered herpes virus to treat successfully patients with head and neck cancer.  A London hospital trial of 17 patients found that use of the virus alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy helped kill the tumours in most patients.

It works by getting into cancer cells, killing them from the inside, and also boosting the patient's immune system.
Further trials are planned for later in the year. Head and neck cancer, which includes cancer of the mouth, tongue and throat, affects up to 8,000 people every year in the UK.  Study leader Dr Kevin Harrington, who is based at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, said current treatments were effective if the cancer was picked up early but that many patients were not diagnosed until it was more advanced.

The herpes virus, which is also being tested in patients with skin cancer, is genetically manipulated so that it grows inside tumour cells but cannot infect normal healthy cells.
Once there it has a triple effect - it multiplies, killing tumour cells as it does so, it is engineered to produce a human protein that activates the immune system and it also makes a viral protein that acts as a red flag to immune cells.

In the 17 patients injected with the virus, in addition to their standard treatment, at the Royal Marsden Hospital, 93% showed no trace of cancer after their tumour had been surgically removed.  More than two years later, 82% of patients had not succumbed to the disease.  Only two of 13 patients given the virus treatment at a high dose relapsed, the journal Clinical Cancer Research reported. There were no safety concerns with use of the virus, the researchers said, and it is hoped the virus could one day be used to fight other types of cancer.  "Around 35 to 55% of patients given the standard chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment typically relapse within two years, so these results compare very favourably," said Dr Harrington.
  He is now planning a trial comparing the viral treatment with the standard treatment in people newly diagnosed with head and neck cancer. 

Dr Alison Ross, senior science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said it would be some time before the treatment could be used in patients as it still needed to be tested directly against standard treatment.  But she added: "This small study highlights the potential of using genetically modified viruses as a weapon to fight cancer." 


The building won an Irish architectural prize earlier this year 
A building in Londonderry is in the running to become World Building of the Year.

An Gaeláras - Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin is a £4m purpose-built Irish language, cultural and enterprise centre, designed by Dublin-based architects O'Donnell and Tuomey.  It has been nominated in the community category, with the results to be announced at the World Architecture Festival in November.

To win the ultimate prize it faces stiff competition from Soccer City in Johannesburg, the Apple Store in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum.  In April, the building picked up an Architectural Association of Ireland award.  Based near Derry's walls, the centre is a hub for a variety of different cultural and arts organizations throughout the Northwest region. Rob Gregory is an architect and assistant editor of the Architectural Review. He's also an awards judge and is a fan of An Gaeláras.  "It's a very specific building, the building couldn't exist anywhere else," he said.
  "The site is very important historically and the architects have created some incredible spaces, internally and externally."  The central space is crossed by stairs, bridges and platforms providing access to classrooms, offices, social and performance spaces.

A team from O'Donnell and Tuomey will travel to the festival in Barcelona and pitch to a panel why they think their building should win, and Rob Gregory thinks they are in with a good chance.  "These architects have a very good reputation all over the world," he said.  "Two years ago a very small project nearly won, so it's not always the size or spectacular nature of the project that wins the day."


Meat from the offspring of a cloned cow entered the food chain last year and was eaten, the UK's Food Standards Agency has revealed.
Experts said two bulls born in the UK from embryos harvested from a cloned cow had been slaughtered, one of which 'will have been eaten' while the other was stopped from entering the food chain. The revelation came amid an FSA probe into whether any matter from cows born of a clone have been used in food production.

Under European law, foodstuffs - including milk - produced from cloned animals, must pass a safety evaluation and gain authorization before they are marketed.  But the FSA, the UK body responsible for the assessment of 'novel foods' produced by cloned animals and their offspring, said it had neither made any authorizations nor been asked to do so. An investigation was launched in the wake of claims that a British farmer had admitted using milk in his daily production without labeling it as from the offspring of a cloned cow.

The FSA said yesterday it had traced a single animal, Dundee Paradise, believed to be part of a dairy herd, but could not confirm that milk from the animal had entered the food chain.  It added that during the investigation officials had identified the two bulls born in the UK from a cloned cow in the US. An FSA spokeswoman said: 'The first, Dundee Paratrooper, was born in December 2006 and was slaughtered in July 2009. Meat from this animal entered the food chain and will have been eaten.  'The second, Dundee Perfect, was born in March 2007 and was slaughtered on July 27 2010. Meat from this animal has been stopped from entering the food chain.

'The agency is continuing its work on tracing the offspring of clones claimed to produce milk for the UK dairy industry. 'We have traced a single animal, Dundee Paradise, which is believed to be part of a dairy herd but at present we cannot confirm that milk from this animal has entered the food chain. 'As part of this investigation local authority officials are visiting the farm on which this herd is kept.'

UK dairy industry body DairyCo said it was 'confident' no milk from the offspring of cloned animals has entered the human food chain.
DairyCo said a British farmer had denied reports he was selling milk produced by a cow born of a clone - something banned without (FSA) approval.  The farmer, who has not been named, told DairyCo he was only using the offspring of a cloned pedigree Holstein cow to create embryos for sale abroad.

In relation to cloned animal food safety, the European Food Safety Authority issued an opinion in 2008 which stated that: 'No clear evidence has emerged to suggest any differences between food products from clones or their offspring, in terms of food safety, compared to products from conventionally bred animals.
'But we must acknowledge that the evidence base, while growing and showing consistent findings, is still small.'

The European Parliament voted last month for an immediate moratorium on the sale of food from cloned animals and their offspring until new legislation expressly banning it can be introduced.
Campaigners have voiced concerns about the possibility of produce from cloned farm animals entering the food chain, but farming groups insisted it posed no risk.
Emma Hockridge, the Soil Associa
tion's head of policy, said cloning raised worrying issues about animal welfare, ethics, public safety, reducing genetic diversity within agriculture and the spread of animal diseases.

Eight animals, four male and four female, were bred in Britain in 2007 from a clone of a prize-winning American Holstein cow, according to breed society Holstein UK.
One of the female animals died of natural causes at about one month old, but the other three, kept on three different farms, have calved and produced milk.


The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sports, Mary Hanafin, said the award was a recognition of the vast literary wealth for which the city was renowned and would be a welcome boost for cultural tourism in the capital in the coming years.  In a statement, Minister Hanafin said: "Dublin has been awarded this accolade because of the rich historical literary past of the city, the vibrant contemporary literature, the variety of festivals and attractions available and because it is the birthplace and home of literary greats.

"Names such as Swift, O'Casey, Wilde, Shaw, Behan, Beckett and Joyce are synonymous with Dublin and there are reminders of their great literary works throughout the city - which captures both scholars' and tourists' imaginations when they visit the city.  "Dublin's literary tradition continues to flourish with current writers achieving great acclaim internationally - including Colm Tóibín, Sebastian Barry, Anne Enright, Roddy Doyle, John Banville to name just a few. Novelists including Maeve Binchy, Patricia Scanlan, Marian Keyes, John Boyne, Joseph O'Connor and playwright Dermot Bolger are all native Dubliners."

She concluded: "Dublin is now part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and there will be numerous opportunities to showcase all that is happening on the cultural and literary fronts in the months and years ahead.  "Being one of only four cities in the world to achieve the status of UNESCO City of Literature, will enable Dublin to increase its market share of tourists and attract more people to both the city and the island of Ireland."






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The All-Ireland Senior Football semi-finals take place over the next two weekends. Dublin will play Cork and Down will play Kildare for the right to make the final, which will be held in Croke Park, Dublin on 19th September. In hurling the final has been set with Kilkenny going for their 5th All-Ireland tile in a row against Tipperary. that game is on Sunday 5th September.


If you are interested in becoming a Host Family for the Wider Horizons Program in 2010, please contact Robert Tierney at or phone (412) 394-3900.





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Saturday, August 21

Mass in Remembrance of the 29th Anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strikes
Where: St. Patrick’s Church in the Strip 

(17th Street between Penn and Liberty Avenues)
When: 5:00pm

Celebrant: Reverend Thomas O’Donnell 
Reception to follow immediately after Mass in the 
Court Yard of St. Patrick’s 
For more information contact: Sarah McAuliffe-Bellin at or Jim Caldwell at 412-580-3759


September 10-12

Pittsburgh Irish Festival 20th Anniversary Celebration at Riverplex behind Costco. Please visit our website at or Facebook. 412-422-1113.  Entertainment scheduled so far - Gaelic Storm, Scythian, Glengarry Bhoys, Makem, & Spain Brothers, Screaming Orphans, Cahal Dunne, plus more.


Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre are taking a road trip to "The Shaw Festival" at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Escorted by Artistic Director, Andrew Paul; Package includes transportation, lodging, four plays, winery tour, breakfast, and one dinner. More information


Pittsburgh Irish Dance Schools


            Bell School of Irish Dance  

            Burke Irish Dancers  

    Pittsburgh Irish Reelers  

    Shovlin Academy of Dance  

    Pittsburgh Ceili Club  


Pittsburgh Irish Sports


Pittsburgh Irish Rowing Club (PIRC)  


    Pittsburgh Gaelic Athletic Association (PGAA)

- a representative organization of the Pittsburgh Celtics, Pittsburgh Banshees, and Pittsburgh Celtics Youth


Pittsburgh Hurling Club (PHC)

become a regular at these local programs!

 The Echoes of Erin is marking its 22nd year!  It airs every Sunday afternoon at 12:30-2:00p.m. on WEDO, 810 AM.  Diane Byrnes continues to provide Irish music, news, and other great information from the Emerald Isle.  Keep up the good work, Diane!


Paddy's Pour House located on Main Street in Carnegie, PA hosts live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night starting at 9:00 p.m.  Tuesday nights, come for Irish Night: Guinness, Smithwick's, and Half and Half specials 8-12 p.m.  For more information, visit their website or call (412) 279-0770.


Catch the Thistle and Shamrock every Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. on WYEP 91.3FM for Celtic music performances and discussions.


We're always looking for events to include: If you'd like to include your next event in this newsletter, please send event information including date, time, location, admission cost, and contact information to



Check Performance Schedules, Etc.

Aran from Johnstown PA -      George Balderose  -

Carnival of Souls -

Ceann  -  

Cue Ball Music  

Cahal Dunne  -

Tony Egan   -  

Michael Gallagher  -

Terry Griffith  

Guaranteed Irish    -

Hiraeth  -

Hooley  -

John McCann  -

Corned Beef & Curry -

Michael Murphy & TSRB

Na Gaels  -

Jack Puskar  -  

Red Hand Paddy  -

Rolling Scones  -

The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh’s mission is to promote mutual understanding of the Catholic and Protestant traditions in Northern Ireland and economic development throughout all of Ireland. The Institute fulfills its mission by providing quality programs in job training, economic development, leadership development, educational alliances and reconciliation. The Institute is a change-oriented organization that collaborates with industry, educational and government institutions in the development of all programs.

The Ireland Institute relies on its donor and volunteer network to continue its mission of mutual reconciliation and economic development. Your generosity is kindly appreciated.


The Ireland Institute is available to accept donations through the United Way. Please remember our code for the United Way Campaign of Southwestern Pennsylvania: 4534. We are also listed as a non-Profit under the Combined Federal Campaign. Our number is: 12438. A third option is to donate through the local Federal campaign. This number is: 9016.


If you prefer, a tax-deductible donation can also be made directly to the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh. The Ireland Institute also appreciates in-kind donations such as event tickets etc. that we can then distribute to our participants.


For further information or questions about how you can donate, please contact us at 412-394-3900.


 All articles are adapted from, the Irish Emigrant, the Belfast Telegraph, the Irish Examiner, BBC, and other news sources.