Read about the changes in Ireland and our MAPP Group!
Vol. VII, Issue 5
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PITTSBURGH AND THE PROMISE OF PEACE
Last week at the Ireland Institute's 61st Wider Horizons Graduation ceremony, President Jim Lamb spoke of the success of the program and the capacity of this region to bring peace and reconciliation to the world.Here are his remarks:
" WE ARE HERE THIS EVENING TO CONGRATULATE A GROUP OF YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN FROM IRELAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND WHO HAVE SPENT THE LAST 8 WEEKS HERE IN OUR CITY. THEY REPRESENT THE 61ST WIDER HORIZONS PROGRAM OF THE IRELAND INSTITUTE OF PITTSBURGH.
SINCE 1989 THE INSTITUTE HAS MANAGED VARIOUS TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR SOME 1600 YOUNG PEOPLE, CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT, FROM IRELAND, NORTH AND SOUTH.
MANY OF YOU ARE WELL AWARE OF THE POLITICAL AND SECTARIAN CONFLICT THAT HAS DEFINED NORTHERN IRELAND FOR CENTURIES, ESPECIALLY, THE TROUBLES OF THE PAST FORTY YEARS.
ELEVEN YEARS AGO LEADERS ON BOTH SIDES OF THAT CONFLICT, ENCOURAGED BY THE GOVERNMENTS OF IRELAND, THE UK, THE UNITED STATES, AND MANY OTHERS, CAME TO A HISTORIC AGREEMENT FOR PEACE. THAT BELFAST GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT CONTINUES TO GUIDE LEADERS AND THEIR CONSTITUENTS TOWARD A MORE CIVIL AND PROSPEROUS SOCIETY. MOST PEOPLE AGREE THAT PEACE HAS COME TO NORTHERN IRELAND…
…YET THEY ALSO ADMIT THAT RECONCILIATION—THAT CAPACITY TO FEEL TRUE SORROW, “FOR OUR TRESPASSES,” AS THE LORD’S PRAYER SUGGESTS, “AND TO FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US”—THAT IS ONLY JUST BEGINNING NOW.
AND THAT IS WHY, AFTER ELEVEN YEARS OF RELATIVE PEACE, THE IRELAND INSTITUTE OF PITTSBURGH CARRIES ON THIS IMPORTANT WORK….
SOME OF YOU HAVE HEARD ME SAY THIS BEFORE. THE INSTITUTE AND THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH AND THE REGION OF SW PENNSYLVANIA HAVE CREATED A SUCCESSFUL MODEL FOR BRINGING YOUNG PEOPLE FROM DISADVANTAGED AND DIVIDED COMMUNITIES TOGETHER. A COMBINATION OF HOST FAMILIES THAT OFFER UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND SUPPORT; AN EMPLOYER BASE THAT SEES THE VALUE IN TEACHING, WHICH ULTIMATELY BENEFITS THEIR COMPANIES; A COMMITTED FACULTY AND STAFF HERE AT DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY THAT ELEVATE STUDENTS’ KNOWLEDGE AND CONFIDENCE; AND INVALUABLE SUPPORT FROM THE CITIZENS OF THIS REGION WHO MEET OUR YOUNG PEOPLE, WELCOME THEM, AND LOOK AFTER THEM WHILE THEY ARE HERE.
I KNOW THAT A NUMBER OF THE STUDENTS SPEAKING TONIGHT WILL HAVE MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THEIR POSITIVE EXPERIENCES HERE IN PITTSBURGH. ON THEIR BEHALF, I WISH TO THANK ALL THOSE IN THE ROOM AND THOSE WHO COULDN’T MAKE IT TONIGHT. WITHOUT YOU AND THEM, THESE PROGRAMS WOULD NOT BE SUCCESSFUL.
NOW, I WANT TO TAKE YOU BACK TO EARLY MARCH OF THIS YEAR. AT THAT TIME THIS GROUP BEHIND ME, FROM BOTH PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC TRADITIONS, WERE PREPARING FOR THIS VISIT TO PITTSBURGH. THERE WAS SOME UNUSUALLY UNSETTLING NEWS COMING OUT OF ANTRIM, AND FROM LURGAN, A TOWN SOME OF THESE MEN AND WOMEN CALL “HOME.” IN THE SPACE OF A FEW DAYS, THREE SECURITY PERSONNEL, TWO SOLDIERS AND A POLICEMAN WERE KILLED BY DISSIDENTS LOOKING TO UPSET THE PEACE PROCESS.
I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT SOME OF THESE STUDENTS CONSIDERED THE UGLY POSSIBILITY THAT THE TROUBLES WERE BEGINNING TO CREEP BACK INTO THEIR LIVES. SOME MAY HAVE BEEN RELIEVED TO KNOW THAT AT LEAST FOR A FEW MONTHS THEY COULD LEAVE ALL THAT NONSENSE BEHIND.
THEY ALL ARRIVED HERE WITH GREAT EXPECTATIONS, A KEEN SENSE OF FREEDOM AND LIBERTY, AS PROMISED IN OUR NATION’S MOST CHERISHED DOCUMENTS. THEY WERE LIVING AND WORKING AND LEARNING TOGETHER, AWAY FROM THOSE TIRED STORIES OF VIOLENCE AND HOSTILITY. SURELY, THEY HAD FOUND RESPITE FROM THE TROUBLES.
THEN ON SATURDAY, APRIL 4TH, AS THEY GATHERED FOR A JUST-DUCKY TOUR OF PITTSBURGH, THEY GOT THE NEWS THAT ROCKED OUR CITY…THREE POLICEMEN SHOT DEAD IN STANTON HEIGHTS.
WE ALL MOURNED FOR A WEEK.
IT WAS A REMINDER TO ALL OF US THAT VIOLENCE AND HOSTILITY ARE NOT RESTRICTED TO NORTHERN IRELAND OR THE MIDDLE EAST OR THE SWAT VALLEY. IT CAN HAPPEN ON A STREET IN STANTON HEIGHTS, IN A NEO-NAZI RAMPAGE ACROSS THE SOUTH HILLS, IN THE ALLEYS OF HOMEWOOD, OR EVEN ON A UNIVERSITY CAMPUS LIKE THIS!
PEOPLE AT HOME AND ABROAD WITH TERRIFYING AGENDAS ARE CARRYING OUT UNSPEAKABLE ACTS….AND IT IS SHAMEFUL THAT WE HAVE NOT PUT A STOP TO MOST OF IT.
THE POSITIVE NEWS IS THAT “PEACE” IS CLEARLY WORKING IN NORTHERN IRELAND. LEADERS, SCHOOLS, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, COMPANIES, CHURCHES, COMMUNITIES, AND INDIVIDUALS ARE ALL INVESTED IN THE PEACE PROCESS. AND THEY ARE ENJOYING A TANGIBLE PEACE DIVIDEND.
THE ATTEMPTS BY THOSE DISSIDENTS IN MARCH WERE SQUASHED WHEN HARDLINE POLITICAL LEADERS FROM BOTH TRADITIONS, ALONG WITH THE CHURCHES, AND COMMUNITIES ALL CAME OUT AGAINST THE COWARDLY CRIMINALS.
AND TO THIS DAY, IN SPITE OF THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN THAT HAS SERIOUSLY IMPACTED IRELAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND, AND IN SPITE OF THE RESIDUAL TENSIONS BETWEEN COMMUNITIES, NORTHERN IRELAND AND THE BORDER REGION REMAIN RELATIVELY SAFE.
AND THANKS TO THIS PROGRAM, ONE MORE GROUP OF YOUNG PEOPLE WILL RETURN HOME, JOINING OUR ILLUSTRIOUS ALUMNI OF 1600, TRANSFORMED, WITH NEW PERSPECTIVES ON WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT. FAMILY, COMMUNITY, CAREER, SHARED SPACE, COMMON GROUND, A JUST AND RECONCILABLE PEACE, A CIVIL SOCIETY.
I AM CONVINCED THAT THIS PROGRAM MODEL CAN WORK IN OTHER REGIONS OF CONFLICT---THE BALKANS, THE AFRICAN CONTINENT, THE MIDDLE EAST, AND EVEN ON SOME OF HARD STREETS OF PITTSBURGH… YOU NAME IT. THE PROOF OF THAT SUCCESS SITS BEHIND ME HERE THIS EVENING. THERE IS A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE. AND I BELIEVE THIS REGION CAN LEAD THE WAY IN THAT EFFORT.
Jim Lamb, President
Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh
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PRESIDENT McALEESE RECEIVES "FREEDOM OF KILKENNY"
President Mary McAleese received the Freedom of Kilkenny City at a special meeting of Kilkenny Borough Council held at Kilkenny Castle.
The award, whose only remaining living holders are Kilkenny hurling Manager Brian Cody and former Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil Séamus Pattison, was given to President McAleese to honor her contribution to national life and to mark Kilkenny's 400th year since it was awarded city status.
The Freedom of the City is the highest accolade that can be bestowed by Kilkenny Borough Council following a formal vote, unanimously passed by the 12 members of the council.
IRISH OFFICER AWARDED LÉGION D'HONNEUR
The Irish officer, who commanded European troops in Chad over the last year, was awarded the Légion d'honneur. The medal is France's highest accolade for people who distinguish themselves through civilian or military valour.
President of France Nicolas Sarkozy awared Lieutenant General Pat Nash the medal at a ceremony in Paris. General Nash is originally from Ahane in Co Limerick and has been living in Cork city. He became operational commander of European troops in Chad in October 2007 and has been based in Paris since.
WILL THE IRISH ECONOMY IMPROVE?
An independent economic think-tank has said the Irish economy could return to an average annual economic growth rate of 5% between 2011 and 2015. However, the Economic and Social Research Institute says this will only happen if the world economy recovers quickly.
In new research outlining economic recovery scenarios, the ESRI also warns that even after recovery happens, the Irish economy is facing into a permanent 10% drop in economic output.
IRISH LISBON "GUARANTEES"
The Irish Government says it wants some legally binding guarantees clarifying aspects of the Treaty before it can hold a second referendum. It is expected that the guarantees will regard ethical issues, such as abortion, tax sovereignty and defense.
The summit will agree that these statements will be attached to the Lisbon Treaty as "legally binding Protocols" at the earliest opportunity.
In effect, the three statements are likely to draw together all the existing 'guarantees' to show that the Lisbon Treaty does not bring about any changes in existing practice in these areas.
The first issue will address tax sovereignty, which is likely to state that the Lisbon Treaty does not change the requirement for "unanimity" in tax matters in the European Union. This would make it quite known that Ireland, as well as other states, retains a veto over any proposals relating to taxation.
On ethical issues, the idea proposed is that nothing in the charter of fundamental rights or the justice and home affairs provisions of the Lisbon Treaty will change the main workings of the Irish constitution.
Northern Ireland Counties to see more job openings
A total of 140 new jobs are to be created by two companies in Belfast and Londonderry.
The first company, Dunelm Mill, will create approximately 80 jobs when it opens a 38,000 sq foot outlet on the Buncrana Road in Derry. Meanwhile, telecoms company Magdalene will create 50 jobs at a development center in south Belfast.
Magdalene is based in St Ives, near Cambridge, and they already have offices at the Gasworks site, off the Ormeau Road. Magdalene and another telecoms company, Eircom, were recently awarded a £2m contract with NI Water to upgrade and maintain its internal network.
Eircom announced last week that they were investing another £1.5m in their Belfast operation.
NI HOUSE PRICES DROP
The University of Ulster conducted a survey on house prices and found that there was a year-on-year drop of 35 percent in the first quarter of 2009. Within in the first three months of this year, house prices fell by 10.8 percent, and Northern Ireland real estate agents sold 692 properties within the three-month period.
With an average of £157,000, prices are already back at the pre-property boom levels of early 2006, but experts said prices had not yet reached the bottom.
The decline in property values did slow from the 16.6% fall in the last three months of 2008, according to the University of Ulster Quarterly House Price Index, produced in partnership with the Bank of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
A slight cause for optimism for the authors - Professors Alastair Adair and Stanley McGreal and Mrs Louise Brown considered this to be a “sligh cause for optimism,” as prices will begin to strengthen.
Economist Alan Bridle, Bank of Ireland head of research in Northern Ireland, said prices had fallen by almost 40% from their peak.
QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS HONORED
Six academics from Queen's University Belfast have received the highest honor available to a scholar working in Ireland. They were admitted as Members of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) at a ceremony in Dublin.
The six new Members are Professors Vincent Fusco, Keith Jeffery, John Morison, Richard English, Peijun Hu and Myungshik Kim.
• Richard English is Professor of Politics and a world expert in terrorism, politics and nationalism.
• Keith Jeffery is Professor of British History. His research has focused on Irish nationalism, British patriotism and imperial and colonial governance.
• John Morison is Professor of Jurisprudence, and was Head of the Law School at Queen's from 2003-2007.
• Vincent Fusco is Professor of High Frequency Electronic Engineering.
• Peijun Hu has been a Professor since 2004. His research concentrates on physical and theoretical chemistry.
IRISH PRICES ARE ON THE MOVE
The Central Statistics Office reveals that prices in Ireland are dropping faster than anywhere in Europe.
Reductions in mortgage interest, clothes and food prices resulted in the cost of living falling 0.8pc last month and by 3.5pc in the year to April. Clothes and footwear prices fell by 3.6pc in April and are down almost 12pc in the year.
Food prices fell by 1.1pc last month and 1.7pc in the year, with staples such as bread, beef, potatoes and milk falling. Furniture prices also fell 3pc in the year.
The Central Statistics Offices figures reveal the average mortgage bill fell 13pc last month and is now 39pc lower than a year ago. Rents fell almost 14pc.
This is the steepest fall in inflation since 1933, and the fall was better than what economists predicted, leading them to revise estimates downward as the "consumer spending strike" continues. Prices are now at the same level as in the summer of 2007 and are predicted to fall steeply in the months ahead.
Ireland now has the lowest inflation in Europe, based on the European HICP measurement, with Portugal, Luxembourg and Spain the only other countries with falling prices.
EVANS DEBUT ON MANCHESTER UNITED
Corry Evans, younger brother of Jon Evans, is set for his Premier League debut on Sunday for Manchester United, and has also been called up to the senior Northern Ireland squad
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to field a young team for the trip to Hull City on Sunday, with a Champions League final clash with Barcelona in Rome just a few days later, and Evans is being lined up for a debut. And today Corry received more good news when he was named in Nigel Worthington’s Northern Ireland squad to face world champions Italy, in Pisa, next month.
Corry's brother, Jon, currently plays with Manchester United in the Premier League as a center back.
WidER HORIZONS MAPP 2009- March 20-May 13, 2009
Our first group, from the Monaghan and Portadown
Partnership, departed home to Ireland and Northern Ireland Thursday, May 14,
following their graduation ceremony Wednesday evening. The group arrived at the end of March and spent 8 weeks in
Pittsburgh learning, working, and experiencing Pittsburgh life. The Program was centered on “Information
Technology," and they participated in academic seminars which took place
at Duquesne University. This group’s interests were quite varied and placements
ranged from WQED, Gulliver's Travel, Pittsburgh Lacrosse Store, P&W Mini, sunKing Digital, Downtown YMCA, the City Controller's office, and Mullen Advertising.
We wish them well as they begin new lives with new
opportunities in a peaceful for prosperous Ireland.
TYRONE DONGEAL PARTNERSHIP 2009
. If you are interested in becoming a Host Family for 2009, please contact Robert Tierney at email@example.com or phone (412) 394-3900.
Help the Institute:
Please visit www.picttheatre.org or call 412-394-3353 for details.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh presents a new movie: "Hunger" the story of Bobby Sands and the 1981 Hunger Strikes. Join us for Irish Night on Wednesday, May 27th at 7:30 p.m. at the Harris Theater. $5 discounted tickets available for mentioning "Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh.
June 13, 2009
St. Patrick’s Division 4 in
North Hills will host their Irish Day
of Entertainment at Schitizen Park (Croatian Center) off Babcock Blvd. in
Millvale; from Noon.
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. 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.
Pittsburgh Irish Rowing Club 2009 Schedule
Regatta Site 2009 Regatta Date
For more information contact: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Pittsburgh Celtics www.pittsburghcelticsgfc.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.