Read about the results of the Irish Elections 2009
Vol. VII, Issue 6
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AS GOOD AS GETS?
What a year we’ve had here in
Pittsburgh! The Steelers, the Penguins, the G-20 Summit, the “most
livable city” awards!
And the Irish community stories:
The Institute’s 20th year, the Irish Ambassador’s visit, Dan
Rooney’s appointment as US Ambassador to Ireland, the AOH/LAOH State
convention coming in July. Can it get any better than this?
Of course it can! This is our
time to shine. We have so much to be thankful for and so much to share
with the world. And now the world is taking notice. And Ireland,
North and South, is connecting with Pittsburgh in many interesting ways.
You’ll read in this issue of “Common Ground” about Irish links with
Pittsburgh’s Children’s Institute and the Mattress Factory. And it
doesn’t stop there. UPMC announced further investment in its Dublin
operations. Carlow University is developing an Irish American Studies
program. The Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild is partnering with the
University of Limerick to improve the lives of that Irish city’s most
disadvantaged young people.
These connections between
Pittsburgh and Ireland are important. They contribute to our local
economy, our diversity, and our creativity. They facilitate the local Irish
community’s relationship with its ancestral home. You may recall late
last year, Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Brian Cowen directed Ambassador
Michael Collins to assess the US-Ireland Relationship. Irish Economist
and writer, David McWilliams, in his book, “Generation Game,” encourages
Ireland, its government and its people to nurture the Irish diaspora in the
hope that such connections would benefit Ireland. They know the
important role that Irish America and the global Irish diaspora can play in
sustaining Ireland’s place among the nations of the world. With no
significant natural resources, and no longer any cheap work force, Ireland has
to rely on its talent. And when she considers a pool of some 70 million
who claim Irish heritage, Ireland is compelled to take full advantage by
reaching out to tap that talent.
Pittsburgh’s Irish community has
a strong core of folks, men, women, young and old, keeping these connections
alive. The advocacy organizations, the dance groups, the sports clubs,
the Gaelic language enthusiasts, and many other groups and individuals have
made these connections a top priority. We need to build on that.
We need to showcase it. Both Pittsburgh and Ireland can continue to
learn a lot from each other. And together, we can teach the world a
thing or two. To me, that’s as good as it gets.
Jim Lamb, President
Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh
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FROM OUR LAND TO IRELAND: THE DAY SCHOOL/FOYLE VIEW SCHOOL PROJECT
the past school year, students of The Day School at The Children’s Institute
participated in an exciting program that took them all the way to Northern
Ireland…without ever having to leave Squirrel Hill!
once each month, students from Carol Pollard’s classroom and a classroom at
Foyle View School in Derry, Northern Ireland, met as a group via real-time
video conferencing. The Day School at The Children’s Institute is an
approved private school for children ages 2 through 21 who are challenged by
complex and severe disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy and/or
neurological impairments. Foyle View offers services similar to those offered
in The Day School, and is a controlled special school for children with severe
learning difficulties, aged between 3 and 19 years, who live in Derry and
surrounding districts. During the project sessions, teachers placed a
camera in the classroom so that students were able to see the actual
space in which their counterparts work.
think they were surprised by how much they had in common with the Foyle View
students and intrigued by some of the differences,” says Carol Pollard. “Both
groups are into movies, music and sports, although some of my students could
not get used to the fact that in Northern Ireland, they call soccer
addition, each student and each adult in the program was given a user name and
a password to access Learning Northern Ireland (LNI) where he or she was able
to leave messages, have online discussions or share information with a friend
that they may not have wished to share during a video conference with the
entire group. As an added
bonus, students from Franklin Regional High School came to The Day School to
teach our students how to establish accounts on “Facebook” so that
communication can continue throughout the year.
initial first step in the process of learning about one another, students from
both schools completed “passports” introducing themselves to their counterparts
in the other school. These “passports” contained the student’s photo as
well as information about age, his or her family, pets, favorite things, etc.
They were then e-mailed to their Web friends so that some information was
known prior to the first meeting in the virtual classroom.
students were online at The Day School, and during all video conferences
originating at school, teachers and other staff were present. All of the
computers in The Day School are protected with filters that deny access to any
Website that contains questionable material.
program was designed to raise students’ awareness of themselves and the
world around them. It began with exploration of their community, and extended
outward. Additionally, students in both schools were encouraged to think about
how to communicate their ideas to others using video and text, develop skills
in the use of digital photography and video and meet and become friends with
students in another country. Carol Pollard reflects, “We started off the
year eager to learn about a foreign country, and by the end of the year, we
felt that the Foyle View students were our friends.”
are thrilled to bring this project to our students," says Bill
Bauer, director of The Day School at The Children’s
Institute. "This experience is unique and exciting for everyone involved,
and reinforces the position of The Day School as a leader in best practices
for students with disabilities.”
Day School staff included Carol Pollard, teacher, Alice Schaeffer, educational
supervisor and Bill Bauer, director. Dr. Susan O’Rourke, chair, Department
of Special Education and Educational Technology at Carlow University acts as a
consultant and an active participant in this project.
For more information about the Foyle View School program, please contact Bill Bauer at 412.420.2300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Michele Mehal at The Children's Institute for submitting this story.
If you have any interesting stories that you think Common Ground readers might be interested to hear - please send them to email@example.com
30 NEW JOBS AT
SOFTWARE FIRM IN DERRY
FOUR FOUND LIABLE FOR OMAGH BOMBING
Four of the five men being sued by the families of the Omagh bomb victims have been found liable for the atrocity carried out by the Real IRA in 1998. The Omagh families said the ruling had brought them a measure of justice.
In a landmark ruling, Mr Justice Morgan awarded combined damages of over £1.5m to the relatives who brought a lawsuit against five men they believed were responsible for the Omagh bombing.
The judge found Michael McKevitt, who is serving a sentence for directing terrorism for the Real IRA, to be responsible for the attack.
Liam Campbell, Colm Murphy and Seamus Daly were also held liable for the August 1998 attack. The case against a fifth defendant, Seamus McKenna, was dismissed.
More than 20 of the Omagh relatives were in court to hear the verdict.
29 people including a woman pregnant with twins died in the Real IRA attack in August 1998.
Frustrated by the lack of a criminal prosecution in the case, the relatives of some of those who died launched this landmark civil action over eight years ago. The families also filed a claim against the Real IRA, the first time a paramilitary group had been sued. It was also found liable for the attack in today's ruling.
The case began in April last year
and made legal history when the judge crossed the border to hear evidence from
Gardaí at a court in Dublin.
GOVERNMENT LOSE GROUND IN LOCAL- & BY- ELECTIONS
Irish voters rejected the country's governing coalition in local elections and two by-elections as results were released on Saturday 6th June.
Of the 883 local council seats, Fine Gael won over a third of the vote with 340 seats, while Fianna Fáil were successful in just under a quarter on 218. The Labour Party under leader Eamon Gilmore were the other big winner at 132, Gerry Adams' Sinn Féin held 54, with the Green Party winning an extremely disappointing 3. Independents gained 136 seats.
Election Day 2009 also saw two by-elections take place for seats in the Dail. In Dublin South, George Lee (the former RTE Economics Editor) of Fine Gael won a special election for a parliamentary seat with more than 27,000 votes. He outpolled the combined total of the Labor and Fianna Fáil parties, giving him a first-round victory. Independent Maureen O'Sullivan won by a smaller margin in Dublin Central.
After the election, Enda Kenny, leader of Fine Gael, called for a vote of no confidence in the government but the motion was defeated. Taoiseach Brian Cowen, while acknowledging the election results were bad for his party, said he planned to continue to govern until a general election in 2012. The election outcome has left both Mr. Cowen, and the Green Party leader, John Gormley, facing serious internal party difficulties at a time when their ability to manage their coalition will be stress-tested like never before.
Ultimately, Fianna Fáil TDs will be looking to see what strategy offers the best prospect of retaining the maximum number of seats in a general election. Many are privately worried about the prospect of a general election under Brian Cowen's leadership. Yet changing leader is not going to change the reality of the economic or budgetary challenges.
But whenever a general election comes Fianna Fáil can be assured of survival. The same cannot be said for the Green Party. The party is now in the same territory that brought about the demise of the PDs.
In the European elections, Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald lost her seat in Dublin, while Libertas' leader Declan Ganley, the man almost single-handedly responsible for last years 'No' vote on the Lisbon Treaty, failed to be elected in the North-West constituency. Mr. Ganley has since retired from politics.
Of the 12 seats available in the European elections: Fine Gael won 4, Fianna Fáil won 3, Labour won 3 while Independents took 2 seats.
WOMAN APPOINTED TO TOP NI POLICING JOB
A woman has been appointed to the second most important policing job in Northern Ireland for the first time.
LEAVING CERTIFICATE ENGLISH PAPER
The Irish State Examinations Commission recently decided to postpone Leaving Certificate English Paper Two, both Higher and Ordinary levels, after it emerged that students in one exam center had already seen the paper. The examination was rescheduled to take place on a Saturday morning using a contingency paper. English Paper Two was opened by mistake at an examination center in Co Louth.
In a statement, the Examinations Commission said that the exam was rescheduled in 'fairness to all candidates' taking the subject and 'in order to protect the integrity of the examination process' the Leaving Certificate English Paper two, Higher and Ordinary Level.
IRELAND FACES HARD SLOG, SAYS NOBEL WINNER
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has predicted that the Irish economic recovery could take five years.
MATTRESS FACTORY CHOOSES IRISH
The Mattress Factory,
Pittsburgh’s museum of contemporary art, announced the selection of Mark
Garry and Georgina Jackson as Curators in Residence. After and extensive
world-wide search, Garry and Jackson, two Dublin-based curators, were chosen to
work in residence to develop exhibitions for the museum.
The Mattress Factory is known
throughout the world for the excellence of its artistic and education
programs, challenging the status quo, and invigorating the Pittsburgh art
scene. You can learn more at www.mattress.org.
VOLVO OCEAN RACE ARRIVES IN GALWAY: FESTIVAL OF THE SUMMER!
Galway played host to one of the biggest crowds in Irish history with more than 100,000 people crammed into the seafront to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race on Sunday 31st May. More than 300,000 thousand people visited the race village in the first nine days of the festival and the event is believed to have generated about in excess of €43m ($61m) to the local economy.
The weather certainly helped. Ireland basked in a mini-heatwave with temperatures on a par with New York in the mid-70s. The coastline from the Claddagh to Barna village was packed with people and 3-mile tailbacks forced many people to just abandon their card and walk.
Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race and former participant in the race, was the man faced with the decision of sending the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway. A decision he can now see the benefits of. "Of all the stopover ports they have visited around the world in this 2008-09 series, Ireland's stopover in Galway has by far exceeded all other stopover ports and is a model to be followed for future ports," said Frostad.
The Irish-Chinese Boat, Green Dragon, arrived into Galway in 3rd place and is currently 6th in the overall rankings. Skipper Ian Walker said the crowds were amazing. "Even from where we were, out on the bay, it was quite amazing to look back at the crowds that lined the shore," he said.
The Swedish entry, Eriksson 4, won the Boston - Galway leg and are favorites to win the overall competition.
The nine-month, 42,500-mile race started in Alicante, Spain, in October and finishes in St. Petersburg, Russia, this summer after visiting South Africa, India, Singapore, China, Brazil, the United States, Ireland and Sweden. Points are awarded for arriving in a port first, for being the first to reach markers along the way and for in-port racing. Each of the seven entries has a sailing team of 11 crewmembers. They race day and night for more than 30 days at a time on some of the legs. While racing, crews eat freeze dried food, experience temperature variations from 25 to 104 degrees Farenheit and only have one change of clothes.
The Race will be held again in 2012 with Galway and Belfast among the cities hoping to host a leg.
WidER HORIZONS TYRONE DONEGAL 2009- JUNE 22 - AUGUST 16, 2009
We will be welcoming our second group of participants from the Tyrone Donegal program this coming Monday on their Youth & Community program
. If you are interested in becoming a Host Family for 2009, please contact Robert Tierney at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (412) 394-3900.
Help the Institute:
Please visit www.picttheatre.org or call 412-394-3353 for details.
Friday, June 19
Singer, songwriter, musician Luka Bloom will be performing in concert at the South Park Amphitheater, corner of Brownsville & McCorkle Roads, 7:30PM, 412.835.4810. Luka Bloom out of Dublin is brother to Christy Moore.
Sunday, June 28
Echoes of Erin 1:00PM on WEDO 810AM – The Ireland Report with
Mairtin O’Muilleoir, Managing Director of the Belfast Media Group
and CEO and Publisher of The Irish Echo in NY. Guest in studio, Jim
Lamb, President of The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh and sponsor of The
Ireland Report for July.
Balmoral School of Piping & Drumming, Pittsburgh Summer Session at Shadyside Academy in Fox Chapel through July 3rd. Information 412.323.2707
Friday, July 10
Mid-Summer’s Night Seisun with Guaranteed Irish, Blackridge Civic Association, 1200 Beulah Road, Churchill. 8:00PM-Midnight, $15 Adult, $5 Child, includes refreshments, BYOB. Proceeds benefit Blackridge Swim Club. Information: Mary Walsh 412.609.1344 or Maggie Sabol 412.860.7346.
Saturday, July 18
Shillelagh Bash at the Lawrenceville Moose, 51st & Butler Streets in
Lawrenceville. Fundraiser for Miss Smiling Irish Eyes, Bridget Byrne on
her trip to Warrenpoint, County Down for ‘The Maiden of the Mournes
Festival’. Entertainment, Door Prizes, Irish Auction plus more.
Information: Pat Byrne
Friday, July 24 – Sunday, July 26
The Cleveland Cultural Festival at the Berea Fairgrounds featuring Makem & Spain Brothers, Tommy Fleming, Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul, Dennis Doyle, Cherish The Ladies, Irish Descendants, Fintan Stanley, Sean Wilson, Brendan Shine, Johnny McEvoy, Batt Burns, New Barleycorn, plus many, many more. Phone: (216).251.1711 Toll Free U.S. Only: (800).485.8013. E-mail: email@example.com. Many hotels are within a couple of miles of the fairgrounds; Sheraton at the Airport is the Host Hotel. Admission $10.00, parking is FREE.
Pittsburgh Celtics GFC Schedule 2009
June 28 - @ Cleveland St. Pats
Pittsburgh Banshees LGFC Schedule 2009
June 21 - Cleveland St Jarlaths
(Anderson Road, Shaler High School)
Pittsburgh Irish Rowing Club 2009 Schedule
Regatta Site 2009 Regatta Date
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
IRISH ENTERTAINERS WEBSITES
Performance Schedules, Etc.
from Johnstown PA -
Balderose - http://www.pittsburghpiper.com/
of Souls - http://www.carnivalofsouls.com
Gallagher - http://www.mike-gallagher.com/
Griffith - http://www.pittsburghirish.org/griffith
Irish - http://www.guaranteedirish.info/
Beef & Curry - http://www.cornedbeefncurry.com/
Murphy & TSRB http://www.michaelmurphy.us/
Hand Paddy - http://www.redhandpaddy.com/
Rolling Scones - http://www.rollingscones.com
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)
Pittsburgh Banshees email@example.com
Pittsburgh Celtics www.pittsburghcelticsgfc.com
become a regular at these local programs!
The Echoes of Erin is marking its 21st year! It airs every Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. on WEDO, 810 AM. Diane Byrnes continues to provide Irish music, news, and other great information from the Emerald Isle.
Diane's show has now been extended from 12:30pm to 2:00pm.
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.
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.