Read about the Northern Ireland election results


The Common Ground

Vol. V, Issue 3


      March 2007



                 News Updates






letter from the editor 


Over the past two weeks I have drawn quite a bit of attention due to a recent announcement. The Pittsburgh St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee chose me as the 2007 Parade Grand Marshall. What an honor!

Upon reflection, I realize there are a number of factors, more importantly, a number of people that are responsible for my receiving this award. And over the past two weeks I have worked in earnest to recognize all those here in Pittsburgh and in Ireland that have put me in this most enviable position.

My parents, aunts, uncles, and ancestors insured that I would maintain strong roots with my heritage. My brothers, sister, and cousins, here and in Ireland encourage me to keep and protect the transatlantic family connection that millions of other Irish diaspora have lost. It will be my intention to pass that on to my son, Ciaran.

My work colleagues, Institute staff, and volunteers do the real work here, seeing to the various ills and problems of our disadvantaged young people from Ireland, North and South. And the board provides invaluable guidance and other resources without which I would be lost.

Scores of contacts and friends in Pittsburgh, across the US, and in Ireland keep me posted on the developments of the peace process, the success of our reconciliation efforts, the island's impressive economic performance, and the interesting analysis of recent Northern Ireland elections.

I am also lucky to perform from time to time with some top-notch Irish musicians, to support skillful local athletes of the Gaelic games and other sports, and to collaborate on important issues concerning Ireland with some very bright people. I enjoy their company, their collective talents, and most of all, their friendship.

For the past two weeks I have talked about this honor to lead the parade, thanking all these folks, and I realized today that I never recognized the one person who makes it all happen for me.

This Saturday, as you know, I'm taking a walk through the streets of Pittsburgh, just a few blocks from the banks of the O-hi-o, leading the entire community of over 100,000 revelers, to honor the memory of St. Patrick. And I have asked Ann Burns Lamb to join me. For she is the one that keeps me grounded and true. And I will tell anyone listening that making "Grand Marshall" isn't easy. But it's made possible with the help and the tolerance and the love of a good woman.

I truly am blessed.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Jim Lamb


Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh


This month, we continue our series about Pittsburgh's Irish Organization with a look at the Irish American Unity Conference.

 In our Letter from the Editor section, Jim Lamb, this year's Grand Marshall, reflects on his appointment.

We also have the results of the recent Northern Ireland elections.


Our events section features a wide array of St. Patrick's Day events. Plus Irish language classes come to the IIP!



The mission of the Irish American Unity Conference (IAUC) is to bring Irish-Americans and others together on the basis of their common belief in justice and peace in a reunited Ireland.

They acknowledge the right of all Irish people to self-determination and are confident that if given the opportunity, they will choose to live, respectful of the human and civil rights of all, in a sovereign and independent nation free of domination by Britain. 

The IAUC is a national nonpartisan, chapter-based human rights organization working for justice and peace in Ireland.  They endeavor to achieve these goals by working through the American democratic process.  

Their members represent every occupational and educational stratum in the United States and membership is open to anyone who shares our views. Among the work carried out is the education of the American public in general, and decision makers in particular, about human and civil rights abuses in Northern Ireland.


They engage in this process by sponsoring forums, seminars, video presentations and speaking tours by internationally recognized individuals, asking for and participating in congressional hearings on important human and civil rights issues,  assessing and analyzing news reports on Ireland and encouraging activists to challenge inaccurate and biased reporting.


They highlight their goals as: the peaceful reunification of Ireland, fulfilling the right to national self-determination for all on the island of Ireland, supporting American legislation that facilitates Irish national and economic development, developing an immigration program that does not discriminate against the Irish and is just and humane for all, and establishing stringent controls on U.S. foreign aid to Ireland to guarantee that aid benefits those who need it most.


The Pittsburgh/Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the IAUC was established over 20 years ago.  They meet monthly and encourage anyone who is interested to attend a meeting.  For additional information our address is IAUC, PO Box 81974, Pittsburgh, PA  15217, or by email at or by phone at 412-782-2715 or 412-580-3759.


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

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











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Last Friday, counting finished in the Stormont Assembly elections, with both the DUP an Sinn Fein increasing their share of seats over their 2003 totals at the expense of the SDLP and Ulster Unionists. Of the ten ministerial positions available, the DUP will have four positions, Sinn Féin three, with the final three being shared between the SDLP and the Ulster Unionist party. 


With all 108 seats declared, the DUP won most and have 36 MLA's (Member of the Legislative Assembly) elected. Sinn Féin have 28, the Ulster Unionists 18 and the SDLP have 16.


The Alliance party, Northern Ireland’s cross-community party have taken 7 seats including Anna Lo’s, a Hong Kong native – the first person from an ethnic minority to win a seat. The election was rounded out with the Green Party, Progressive Unionist and an independent candidate each securing one seat.

Bertie Ahern and Tony Blair, have said the results of the Northern Assembly elections showed a clear message that the people wanted a return to devolved government. The Republic’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, urged the DUP to make what he called a 'giant leap' by accepting to enter government with nationalists. British Northern Secretary Peter Hain who met with Gerry Adams and DUP leader Ian Paisley on Friday said the people of Northern Ireland had voted for power-sharing.

The US Administration sent its congratulations to Northern Ireland after what it described as a ‘peaceful and successful election’. Spokesperson Sean McCormick said it was now time for the political leaders to address the interests of all the people of Northern Ireland. He said the US shared the commitment of the Irish and British governments in ensuring the full implementation of the St Andrews Agreement. Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and British Prime Minister Tony were commended for their 'concerted, sustained efforts towards ensuring a lasting peace in Northern Ireland'.

The parties now have until March 26th to come to an agreement over power-sharing. If agreement cannot be reached by then, Tony Blair has reiterated that the Northern Ireland Assembly will be closed down.


Over 2,000 people gathered in Washington DC last week for a rally calling for comprehensive immigration reform. Supporters of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform heard an address from US Senator Ted Kennedy. The Senator told the crowd that immigration reform will be a ‘hard fought battle’ but said he believed this year could see a new bill passed by Congress. He said he believes the mood of the American people has shifted on the issue and ‘most people want a workable solution’. 

Last year, a bipartisan immigration bill passed the US Senate but was blocked by Republicans in the House of Representatives. However, much has changed in the past year while the ILIR has kept up its lobbying effort. Following victory in last November's midterm elections, Democrats believe they are in a stronger position to push through immigration legislation this year.

It is estimated that there are almost 12m undocumented people in the US. The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, who was speaking in New York at the start of his annual St Patrick's Day visit to the US, has said he believes good progress is being made on US moves to regularize the status of illegal immigrants, including tens of thousands of Irish citizens. He said he had been assured by American politicians like Senator Ted Kennedy that more progress is expected be made in the coming year. 

This week, the Taoiseach is due to meet Irish emigrant groups who have been lobbying for reforms to grant residency rights to the estimated 50,000 Irish people living illegally in the US.










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The experiment in Limerick last year which saw uniformed "street ambassadors" available to offer advice to visitors to the city has been deemed a success and recruitment of a new team for this year has commenced. Impressed by the success of the project, Dublin now plans to have its own "street ambassadors".


 Sports commentator Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh has been selected as the Grand Marshal for this year's St Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin. Micheál has been chosen in recognition and appreciation of his unique contribution to Irish culture. The parade, with a 'Legendary' theme, is just one event in the St. Patrick's Festival which runs from March 15-19.

Don't forget to say hello to Jim as he leads Pittsburgh's parade!!


The ‘Open Skies’ deal, which may be ratified this month, will provide a substantial increase in direct air routes between the US and Europe and has the potential to generate an additional €1bn for the Irish economy, the head of the Irish Hotels' Federation, John Power, has predicted.


Current regulations dictate that non-US airlines can only travel to Ireland from four destinations in the US. The deal is pivotal to Aer Lingus' future plans, with the company about to take delivery of two new long-haul Airbus planes in May and June and looking to expand its flight schedule to North America.


Today the airline has flights to and from Boston, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Airline industry insiders feel that if the Open Skies deal does go ahead then Aer Lingus will quickly add San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington DC or Baltimore and airports in Texas and Florida to its destinations.


opportunities available to host a young person from Ireland or northern Ireland this summer!

This Summer & Fall, over forty young men and women from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will arrive in Pittsburgh to participate in our Wider Horizons program.  Both groups from Monaghan & Armagh and Tyrone & Donegal will  receive 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. 

A key success in both these programs has been our Host Family program - the young people are placed with host families during their stay in Pittsburgh.  Those of you who have hosted participants in the past have our thanks for opening your hearts and homes.  No doubt you may be called upon again, but we also ask you to recruit any interested friends, neighbors, and co-workers.  Host Family help is vital in providing a positive and rewarding experience for the participants.

Our first group arrives on May 3rd - June 30th and the second group from July 2nd - August 30th. Call 412.394.3900 for more information.






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Following on from last months story about Croke Park opening its doors to soccer and rugby - the Irish Rugby team played England last weekend and defeated the old "foe" by 43-13 to win the Triple Crown competition. The Crown is an honor contested annually by the national teams of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland as part of the Six Nations Championship. If any one team manages to win all their games against the other three, which does not necessarily happen every season, then they win the Triple Crown. It is Ireland's second win in a row and a true sign that Irish Rugby is on a major upswing. 

The current standings within the Six Nations Tournament (which involves the teams above and France & Italy) sees Ireland tied with France & England with 4 wins. The final series of games take place this St. Patrick's weekend and if all three top teams are tied on wins - the winner will be decided by points scored and points conceded. The French have a slight advantage but Ireland will be hoping for a great performance against a surprisingly good Italian team. 

You can follow all the action on-line at or watch a delayed broadcast of the games on the Setanta channel at Molly Brannigan's in Mount Lebanon or Claddagh in the Southside on Saturday & Sunday. 

Table and fixtures taken from

















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Our Mission:


The Ireland Institute of Pittsbugh & O'Neill Summer School present "An Evening with Hugo O'Neill" (Chief of the O’Neill Clan worldwide & President of the Standing Council of Irish Clans) at the DoubleTree Hotel, One Bigelow Square, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 6pm-8pm.  The event is free - donations will be accepted at the door. Call the IIP to RSVP at 412.394.3900

Friday, March 16th



The following Events are all on Saturday 17th March

St. Patrick’s Day Parade beginning at 10 am at Mellon Arena.


Gaelic Arts Society of Pittsburgh will hold their St. Patrick’s Day Banquet at the PAA, 5th Ave. in Oakland.  Speaker Fr. Sean Kealy, CSSp “Ireland in America” at 12:00 Noon.  Information: Earl McCabe 412.761.1844.  Deadline March 12.


Paddy’s Pour House is open at 11:00 am, entertainment with Tony Egan.

Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle is open at 11:00 am, music begins Inside on Stage at 12:00 Noon with Mark Guiser, 6:00 pm with Michael Murphy & The Shannon River Band.; 8:00 pm with Red Hand Paddy .  Outside under the Tent – 4:00 pm Hooley; 7:30 pm Guaranteed Irish.


Pittsburgh Ceili Club’s Post Parade Party at Noon. Tickets $15, Children under 12, half price.  Rolling Scones performing. Information 412.487.3031 


Knights of Equity & Daughters of Erin Post Parade Party at The Sports Rock Cafe, 11th and Smallman Streets, 12:00 Noon.  $5.00 Cover.  A Buffet will be available, $9.00.  Music by Aran from Johnstown, PA. 


The Irish Centre of Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Mass at 4:30 pm celebrated by Fr. Sean Kealy, followed by social with Tea & Baked Goods. Dinner at 7:00pm with entertainment with NewLanders and the Burke Irish Dancers.  Reservations: Margie Mulkerrin 412.417.7649 or .


St. Patrick Celebration at the North Hampton Fire Hall, 5149 Pioneer Road, Gibsonia (behind the Eat ‘n Park on Route 8).  $15.00 per adult includes Dinner, Snacks, Dessert, Beverages and Entertainment with Cue Ball.  Information 724.443.6781 or 724.444.7622.


The Renaissance & Baroque Society is presenting a Concert of ancient Gaelic Music with Quadriga Consort - “Rolling in the Isles” at Synod Hall, 8:00 pm.  Order tickets through website: or 412.361.2048.  A Pre-Talk will take place from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm.



Knights of Equity & Daughters of Erin, St. Patrick’s Day Awards Banquet, 6:00 pm at the Greentree Radisson.  Irishman of the Year and The Harp Award winners will be honored, as will the Iron City Irishman of the Year. Information: Mac McCafferty 412.951.7068, Email:   

Sunday, March 18th


The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh & Duquesne University present An Evening with Poet Desmond Egan at the PNC Recital Hall, Duquesne University at 7pm. Admission is free and the recital will be followed by a reception. For more information or to RSVP, please contact the IIP at 412.394.3900. This event is free.

Wednesday, 21st March


PNC Broadway Across America- Pittsburgh presents RIVERDANCE at Heinz Hall, 7:30 pm.  412.392-4900.  Tickets Online: ProArts.  Presented by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Tuesday, March 27th - Sunday, April 1st


become a regular at these local programs!

 Listen to Echoes of Erin, now in its 17th 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 will be hosting Irish Language Classes given by Irish native Marie Young on Thursdays for 8 weeks, starting on May 3rd.


Classes will cost $60 for the 8-weeks and will cover a basic introduction to the language. Watch out for more advanced classes coming soon.


For more information or to register, contact Marie at 412.969.9992 or the IIP at 412.394.3900. 

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.