Read about the Irish & Northern Irish Golden Globe Nominees


The Common Ground

Vol. V, Issue 12


      December 2007



                 News Updates






letter from the editor 



Their visit to the US could not have been planned any better. Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness brought a message of peace and opportunity from Northern Ireland earlier this month. They stated jointly that their war is over and that they would fight for peace. They invited leaders and tourists to Northern Ireland to explore the many opportunities for business and pleasure.

And their reception was fantastic. Images of the two former enemies standing together dominated the media for a few days. President Bush hailed their agreement to share power as a model for other nations in conflict around the world. He also gave his personal commitment to encourage trade and investment with Northern Ireland, calling for a major conference in Belfast in May, 2008.

The peace and prosperity that have come to Ireland, North and South, has been cause for great celebration. This holiday season we will revel in the success of our collective contribution to resolving the "troubles" of Northern Ireland.

But let us remember that Troubles are everywhere. Throw a dart at the World Map and you will find conflict. The champions for peace in Northern Ireland have something to offer those places too.

As the US government and countless other nations and organizations address issues of global conflict and poverty, Ireland represents, not just a model, but a partner. No longer the poor land of our ancestors, Ireland has the knowledge, resources and respect around the world to facilitate peace and economic regeneration. An informed US Administration will take note of this and seize the opportunity to involve Ireland on missions around the world.

The ever-changing relationship between Ireland and the US is being redefined as I write. It presents exciting opportunities to make the world a better place. If we can learn to listen to each other and agree a way forward the US-Ireland partnership will achieve great things.

Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.

Jim Lamb, President

Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh


April 4-12, 2008




The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, the British American Business Council Pittsburgh Region, and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance will undertake a business development mission to Ireland from April 4 through April 12, 2008. Ireland’s transformation has created a dynamic link between the US and the EU generating interest around the globe for trade and investment.



For more information about the delegation, contact Pat Fustich at 412-392-4555 ext.4514 or .




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

 * 425 Sixth Avenue, Suite 300 * Pittsburgh, PA 15219 or

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

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After collapsing in a house after a party several weeks ago, top Irish model Katy French went into a coma, dying in the hospital on December 6. Her autopsy found traces of cocaine and revealed she died of brain damage. She told a tabloid recently that she had taken cocaine as early as age 19, but that she was no longer using the drug. "I realized that it is very much part of the Dublin social scene. Cocaine is everywhere," she is quoted as saying.  

Philomena Lynott, mother of former Thin Lizzy singer Phil Lynott, has condemned the widespread drug use in Ireland, saying that drug dealers should be treated as murderers.  Next month marks the anniversary of her son's death.

According to the 2006 Report by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs, nearly 5% of Irish youth ages 15-34 reported trying cocaine.  Cocaine use has been on the rise in several European Union countries, making it the second most widely used illegal drug after cannabis.


The Northern Ireland Skillset Media Academy, comprising a consortium led by the University of Ulster and including the Belfast Metropolitan College, North West Regional College and Southern Regional College, has been selected to be part of the world's first Media Academy Network.  The elite academy will help to develop a new wave of talent to create the YouTube and Bebo-style concepts and media content of the future. 

It will join a network of 16 other academies across the UK, launched by Culture Minister James Purnell and Skills Minister David Lammy in London earlier this month. The network will see world-leading academics, content creators, computer games developers, software programmers and creative artists working with industry to develop talent, creativity and business ideas to exploit new technologies and opportunities in broadcast television and interactive media. Northern Ireland's success followed a one year application and industry inspection process. More than 60 consortia bid for the academy status. 

Richard Williams, chief executive of Northern Ireland Screen, said: "The Northern Ireland Skillset Media Academy will for the first time create a proper and coherent link between the television, film and digital media industry in Northern Ireland and the education and training providers".










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Monday, January 28, 2008

Carnegie Music Hall 7:30 pm

Irish author Roddy Doyle’s first acclaimed novel The Commitments was made into a popular feature film directed by Alan Parker. Five novels later, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha won the prestigious Booker Prize. Of Paula Spencer(2006), his ninth, Scotland on Sundays says, “Doyle has created a little masterwork, a gem of persuasive realism.”

For more information or to buy tickets, call 412.622.8866

or go to


Jonathan Rhys Meyers, James Nesbitt, and Saoirse Ronan (all pictured above from L-R)  are amongst the nominees in the television categories for the Golden Globe Awards.

Rhys Meyers, from Dublin, has been nominated for Best Actor in a Television Series (Drama) for his role as Henry VIII in 'The Tudors'.

He is up against Michael C Hall ('Dexter'), Jon Hamm ('Mad Men'), Hugh Laurie ('House') and Bill Paxton ('Big Love') in the Best Actor category.

Northern Irish star James Nesbitt also bagged a nomination for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture for Television for his role in 'Jekyll'. 

Also nominated were Adam Beach ('Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee'), Ernest Borgnine ('A Grandpa for Christmas'), Jim Broadbent ('Longford') and Jason Isaacs ('The State Within').

The young Irish actress Saoirse Ronan  is nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance in the film 'Atonement'.

Commenting on her nomination, 13-year-old Ronan said: "I loved playing Briony [her character in the film], so this is incredibly exciting for myself and my families - my family at home, and my 'Atonement' family. I am so happy that they were recognized for their achievements. Go raibh míle maith agaibh - that means 'thank you very much' in Irish."

Atonement is released today at Lowe's Movie Theater in The Waterfront, The Tudors features on ShowTime, and Jekyll is on BBC America.


Singer-songwriter Christie Hennessy (born Edward Christopher Ross) died on the 11th of cancer.  He was born in Tralee, Co Kerry, with 4 brothers and 5 sisters.  Suffering from severe dyslexia, he never learned to read and write, quitting school at age 11.  When he was 15, he emigrated to London to work at construction sites. 

He began playing guitar in clubs, starting out with old blues numbers and eventually progressing to write his own songs.  In 1965 he met and married his English wife Gill Erikson.  He recorded his first album in 1972, but only 500 copies were printed.  He had to wait until 1992, with the release of his second album, for fame.  He was signed to Warner and released four albums between 1992-1999, A Year in the Life, Lord of Your Eyes, The Box, and This is as Far as I Go.  His songs were popular cover songs for other artists, with "Don't Forget Your Shovel," as covered by Christy Moore the most popular.  His first hit single, "Messanger Boy," outsold U2 at its peak.

He was coaxed back into the studio for Stories for Sale, his 2005 album.  His illiteracy caused him to have a great compassion for others who might never learn to read or write.  He supported the anti-poverty charity Children in Crossfire, and was recording an album of duets to benefit the group when he was stricken with cancer.  The album will be released in January.




The last Wider Horizons group of the summer returned home on October 10.  The group from Monaghan & Armagh has received on-the-job training, personal development, exposure to American culture, and new insights into the problems at home through conflict resolution.  After their program the participants return to Ireland, hopeful of securing employment and living in peace. 

The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh would like to thank all of the host families who have worked with us this summer to create a safe and supportive living situation for the participants.  Our host families have been key to the success of these programs.

We are looking forward to new Wider Horizons groups next spring.  We rely on our dedicated base of host families, as well as families new to the program, to help us provide quality programs for the young people.  We are always looking to build up our pool of host families, so please encourage interested relatives or friends to contact us.

If you are interested in becoming a Host Family, please contact us at (412) 394.3900.






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Cricket: The All-Island Irish Team made it to the last 8 of the Cricket World Cup before being beaten by the West Indies. it was their first appearance in a World Cup. The sport enjoyed a high profile during the month of March


Gaelic Football: Crossmaglen Rangers, (from Northern Ireland) won their 4th All-Ireland Club Championship beating Dr. Crokes (from Kerry) after a replay.


Golf: Ireland's Padraig Harrington won the Irish Open and was subsequently named European Tour golfer of the month His win ended a 25-year wait for a home winner of the Irish Open.  


Gaelic Football: Kerry crowned the All-Ireland Senior Football Champions, beating Cork 3:13-1:09

Gaelic Hurling: Kilkenny crowned the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Champions beating Limerick 2:19-1:15


Soccer: Ireland's National Team fail to qualify for the European Championships (to be played next summer in Austria & Switzerland). Subsequently Irish boss, Steve Staunton sacked

Rugby: All-Island Irish Rugby team disappoint in the Rugby World Cup in France - South Africa go on to win the competition.


Soccer: Drogheda United win the League of Ireland with a record of 19 wins, 11 draws and 3 losses. They beat their nearest rivals St. Patrick's Athletic by 7 points.


Soccer: Northern Irish Star David Healy named Northern Ireland's Sports Personality of the Year. Although his team did not qualify for the European Championships - he was instrumental in rejuvenating the team netting 13goals during the campaign.

















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Our Mission:


Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre ‘Pride & Prejudice’ Dec. 6-22.  Performances at the Charity Randal Theatre in the Stephen Foster Memorial.  Info; PICT 412.561.6000. Tickets  or 412.394.3353.

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

The Gaelic Arts Society will present Ken Gray on the ‘Catalpa’ ship that rescued Irish men from an Australian prison.  Synod Hall at 2:30 PM.  For information call Earl McCabe at 412.761.1844.

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Roddy Doyle will take part in the Drue Heinz Lectures at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland at 7:30pm on Monday, January 28th.  For tickets, call 412.622.8866 or go to

become a regular at these local programs!

 Listen to Echoes of Erin, now in its 19th year, every Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. on WEDO, 810 AM.  Diane Byrnes has Irish music, news, and other great information


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 join Dennis Murphy with "Get Educated and Entertained as only 'Murph' can" from 8:00-12:00.  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.


AOH Division 32 Carnegie will hold Fish Fry's at the Ukrainian Club in Carnegie on the following Fridays:

Friday February 23rd - Friday March 30th

Times are 3:30-7pm. For more information click on link above.


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

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.



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