READ ABOUT THE SAD PASSING OF AN IRISH MUSICAL LEGEND
Vol. VII, Issue 12
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A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
THE TWO TOWERS
Don’t let the title of this piece affect your expectation. This is not a movie review from Tolkien’s trilogy nor a reflection on lower Manhattan before 9/11. I write today of the two institutions that controlled nearly every aspect of Irish life over the past century—the Government and the Church.
Meanwhile, the Irish government, that other mysterious omnipotent institution of Irish life, finds itself broke. The policies that spurred economic growth in the 1990s have themselves run out of steam. The economy’s heavy reliance on the construction industry and the government’s apparent lack of oversight of the financial system have, along with other factors, contributed to a disaster.
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BUDGET 2010 CUTS €4bn ($5.85bn) IN PUBLIC SPENDING
Irish Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, insisted Ireland was 'turning the corner,' as he introduced
the country's latest budget - which cuts €4bn from public spending.
-Child benefit reduced by €16 ($23) per month (welfare-dependent families not affected)
-Jobseekers' Allowance reduced to €100 ($150) a week for those aged 20 and 21 with no children, and to €150 ($225) for those aged between 22 and 24 and in cases where job offers have been refused
-No change to State pension
-Tiered pay cuts for public servants - 5% on the first €30,000 of salary, 7.5% reduction on the next €40,000 and 10% on the next €55,000 of salary
-Public servants' pensions to be linked to average salary across career, rather than final salary
-VAT (Value Added Tax) rate reduced - 21.5% rate dropped to 21%
-Excise duty on alcohol reduced - 12c cut on beer and cider, 14c cut on a measure of spirits, 60c cut on a bottle of wine
-No change to tobacco tax
-50c charge for every medical card prescription from April
-Carbon tax of €15 ($21) per ton - petrol to go up by 4.2c from midnight, and diesel up by 4.9c
-Hospital consultants will see their pay cut by up to 15%
-People with a certain level of assets at home and abroad will have to pay €200,000 ($300,000) per year to maintain their Irish passport
-New 'universal social contribution', which will replace employee PRSI, the Health Levy and the Income Levy
-Taoiseach's salary to be reduced by 20%
-Mortgage interest relief - Extended to 2018 for those who now find themselves in negative equity
-Flood relief - More than €70m ($102) to be given to help victims and stop future floods
-Discounted rail vouchers to be given to senior citizen tourists to Ireland
-Scrappage scheme announced - Get around €1,500 ($2,250) off your Vehicle Registration Tax on a new low-emission car, if you trade in a car at least 10 years old
-The minimum pension age for new public servants will be increased from 65 to 66 - then linked to increases in the State pension age
Mr. Lenihan told the Dáil that the Government's plan was working, and that the first signs of recovery could be seen.
MCGUINNESS CHALLENGES ROBINSON ON DEVOLUTION
Stormont Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has called on First Minister Peter Robinson to publish his list of pre-conditions for devolving policing powers to Northern Ireland.
'LITANY OF ABUSE' IN DUBLIN ARCHDIOCESE
The report of the Commission of Investigation into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin has said it has no doubt that clerical child abuse was covered up by the Archdiocese and other church authorities.
NORTHERN IRELAND EMERGES FROM RECESSION
Northern Ireland has emerged from recession, according to a new report by Northern Bank.
LIAM CLANCY DIES AGED 74
Legendary folk singer Liam Clancy died on 4th
December, aged 74.
SHOPPERS FROM REPUBLIC SPENT €435m IN NI
Consumers from the Republic of Ireland spent €435m
($630m) shopping in Northern Ireland from the end of June 2008 to the end of June this year.
IRELAND INSTITUTES IRISH CHRISTMAS
With Ireland still depressed about the result of last month's soccer fiasco in Paris - we thought we'd bring you some photos of our fundraiser at the Harp & Fiddle. The event was very well attended with Hooley and Guaranteed Irish providing the musical entertainment ably supported by Ray Werner (reading some Irish traditions and stories) and Marie Young (telling the story of Christmas through both English and Irish). We'd like to thank everyone that made it down to the Harp & Fiddle for your support and a special thanks to everyone that helped us make the evening a success.
Anne Mullaney (owner Harp & Fiddle), Jim Lamb (IIP President), Anne Mullin Burnham (IIP Board member), and James Burnham
Ray Werner (IIP Board Member) and his wife Susan
Joan Strueber (Strueber & Associates), Jim Lamb (IIP President), and Teresa Stayduhar (IIP Executive Vice President)
WIDER HORIZONS PROGRAM
If you are interested in becoming a Host Family for the Wider Horizons Program in 2010, please contact Robert Tierney at email@example.com or phone (412) 394-3900.
Help the Institute:
Saturday & Sunday, January 2 & 3
Sunday, January 3
The LAOH Claddagh Degree Team is sponsoring a Steeler Party at the Grandview Social Club, 200 Fingal Street, Mt. Washington (Pgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins). Tickets $25.00 includes food soda & refreshments, Cash Bar. Tickets: Peggy Cooney 412.921.6348 or Maureen O’Toole 412.913.4184 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Doors open at 12:30PM.
Friday, January 22
Saturday, January 23
The All Ireland Athletic Association presents from New York, Andy Cooney and his Band, at the “Frost on the Shamrock” Winter Social, East Pittsburgh VFW, Draper Street, 7:00pm, Tickets $25 ($20 in Advance), information 412.367.0696 or email@example.com.
March 5, 2010
in Concert at The Byham Theatre, Sixth Street, Downtown Pgh.
Details TBA. www.pgharts.org/venues/byham.aspx
become a regular at these local programs!
The Echoes of Erin is marking its 21st 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Irish Dance Schools
Bell School of Irish Dance http://bellschool.com/about.htm
Burke Irish Dancers
Pittsburgh Irish Reelers
Shovlin Academy of Dance http://www.shovlinacademy.com/
Pittsburgh Ceili Club
Irish Rowing Club (PIRC)
IRISH ENTERTAINERS WEBSITES
Performance Schedules, Etc.
from Johnstown PA -
of Souls -
Beef & Curry - http://www.cornedbeefncurry.com/
Murphy & TSRB http://www.michaelmurphy.us/
Hand Paddy -
Rolling Scones - http://www.rollingscones.com
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.
All articles are adapted from www. rte.ie, the Belfast Telegraph, the Irish Examiner, BBC, and other news sources.