Read about the life of former Irish leader Charles J. Haughey



The Common Ground

Vol. IV, Issue 6


      June 2006



                 News Updates






letter from the editor 




I learned that Charlie Haughey, former Taoiseach of Ireland, passed away recently. He was a fierce chief who took risks and led with passion. He was loved by many and he was reviled by many. While he was troubled with scandals during and after his reign in the Dail, I suspect he will be remembered as a determined, industrious leader.


Haughey's passing reminded me that Ireland's position in the world has changed dramatically in a very short time since his tenure.


Fifteen years ago when I began working at the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, Ireland was described by some as a third-world country. And
Northern Ireland was depicted a battle field. But time and pressure have redefined that island. Pressure from the US and other governments and from the people of Ireland, North and South, encouraged Northern Ireland leaders, in time, to engage in dialogue to seek a peaceful way forward. Pressure to lower corporate tax rates in the Republic of Ireland during Mr. Haughey's stint as leader of that land resulted in unprecedented foreign direct investment, and in time, to job growth and economic prosperity.


These are fundamental ideas for bringing about change. When we seek to solve problems of any kind it is useful to remember that solutions come down to pressure and time. In the movie, "the Shawshank Redemption," the narrator references the affects of pressure and time as the foundations for change. 


Time provides a constant evolution, a process of life, maturity, aging, and death. People and structures and circumstances will change with time. And we have no control over it. Pressure, on the other hand, is something we may apply to a person, to a situation, or to a nation, to affect change. Pressure is something we can control and regulate. When we are passionate about problems we will pressure our colleagues, our leaders, our loved ones, our enemies, and ourselves to bring about solutions.


What problems in this world do you hope to help solve? Are they the big issues that keep our leaders awake at night, like terrorism, healthcare,
immigration, failing schools, and global warming? Or do you identify with local issues like neighborhood safety, community development, care for your children and parents, better relations with your neighbors? Do you seek changes that are more personal, like fitness, self-improvement, a better job, a bigger house?


Time will affect these problems with or without our input. And they might get worse. But pressure can affect change to serve our interests. Yes, there are risks. There is opposition to every solution. Naysayers lurk in every corner telling us, "it will never work." We have to press Haughey did.


Jim Lamb, President

Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh



This month, we continue our series featuring Irish Festivals. 


In our Letter from the Editor, Jim Lamb references former Irish leaders passing in reference to pressure and change.  


There's some latest Irish news from the US & Ireland. Finally, check out our lifestyles section to find out how Ireland is cleaning up its act and remembering the Scots-Irish people. 


Festivals of Ireland

West Belfast's Feile

August 4th - 13th, 2006


Taking place in West Belfast each August, the Féile (Irish for Festival and pronounced Fay-La) is the largest community-led festival in Europe and is now entering its 19th year. The program of events is of the highest standard of quality entertainment.

August Féile was essentially set up to highlight the creative and dynamic community that resides in West Belfast and to promote the community on the world stage; each year world-renowned acts such as Afro Celts, Harlem Gospel Choir and filmmaker Michael Moore have shared stages with some of Ireland’s finest Musicians, such as Dolores Keane, Christy Moore & Brian Kennedy. However an important part of our ethos is to promote local talent and we actively ensure that some of our acts include both established and up and coming local / national artists.

August Féile incorporates ten days and nights of music and concerts, exhibitions, discussions and debates, children's events, literary events, dramas, Féile FM radio station, community events, carnival parade, an International Food Fayre, sports, tours and walks.

The Rose of Tralee

August 18th - 22nd, 2006

The Rose of Tralee Festival is themed on the love song The Rose of Tralee, by William Mulchinock, a nineteenth century wealthy merchant who was in love with Mary O’Connor, his family’s maid. Mary was born in Broguemaker’s Lane in Tralee and worked as a nanny. When William first saw Mary he fell in love with her, but because of the difference in social class between the two families their love affair was discouraged. William emigrated, and some years later returned to Tralee only to find Mary had died of tuberculosis. He was broken hearted and expressed his love for her in the words of the song.

The festival as it is today, stems from Tralee’s Carnival Queen Festival, once a thriving annual town event, which had fallen by the wayside due to post-war emigration. In 1959 a group of local business people decided to revive the carnival in an effort to regenerate the town and encourage tourism. The new event would be called a festival and the carnival queen contest turned into a celebration of the Rose of Tralee song. It would bring Irish people home on holidays and a trip was made to the United States to find Roses from New York and Boston. Since then the festival has grown, and now incorporates centers from all over the world including Australia, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, South America and of course Europe and North America. RTÉ, Ireland’s National Broadcaster’s live coverage of the Rose selection has helped install the festival in the national psyche, and it has remained one of their top rated shows for many years.


The Rose of Tralee was won by Pittsburgher Elizabeth Shovlin in 1978.

Don't forget Pittsburgh's own Irish festival this summer:

September 8th - 10th, Station Square


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:




Charles J. Haughey


The death has taken place of former Irish Taoiseach and Fianna Fail leader Charles J. Haughey. Mr. Haughey, who passed away at home in Kinsealy, Co. Dublin, had been suffering with Cancer having been diagnosed in 1995.

He served as leader of the Irish people during 3 terms between 1979 and 1992. Although his political life was mired with scandals such as the 1970 Arms Trial, the phone-tapping of journalists, inter-party leadership struggles and post-political life financial revelations, Charles J. Haughey had many great achievements during his years in office. He was responsible for many of the free schemes that are on offer to Ireland's elderly, the Succession Act (protecting the inheritance rights of wives), the tax free status and pensions for artists; the promotion of a flourishing bloodstock industry; the network of Ireland's regional airports; Temple Bar, the International Financial Services Center (IFSC), and the restoration of the Shannon-Erne Waterway to name but a few. 

According to current Irish leader Bertie Ahern, "History will have to weigh up both the credit and the debit side more dispassionately than may be possible today but, I have no doubt its ultimate judgement on Mr Haughey will be a positive one".

Mr. Haughey is survived by his Wife Maureen, and children Eimear, Ciarán, Conor and Seán.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.









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Northern Irish Doctor at the Forefront of Stem Cell Research Professor Colin McGuckin, leader of a team of stem cell researchers at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has formed a partnership with US stem cell firm BioE. His team uses stem cells from umbilical cords to develop new therapies for patients with liver complaints. Professor McGuckin hopes these treatments will be available for use in hospitals in the next 5 years. 


"This research could have a huge impact not only on treating human disease, but also provide human tissues for drug development and testing, removing the uncertainty of whether new drugs will have side-effects," he said. 


The team is also developing new tools for drug development. Prof. McGuckin's team was the first to produce embryonic-like stem cells from umbilical cord blood.


The leaders of the Orange and Loyal orders have had their first-ever formal meeting with the leaders of the Catholic Church in Northern Ireland. 


The delegation met Archbishop Seán Brady and other northern bishops at Dr Brady's residence in Armagh at the request of the Loyal Orange Orders. The group consisted of Robert Saulters and Drew Nelson from the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, William Logan and the Rev Tom Greer of the Royal Black Institution, and George Dawson MLA and Mervyn Storey MLA from the Independent Orange Institution. 


Archbishop Brady said the meeting was powerfully symbolic coming at a time when tensions often rise in Northern Ireland. He said it showed the desire of the leadership of the loyal orders to go beyond the barriers of history and marked a first step that was to be greatly welcomed. Dr Brady also said that it was ultimately through gestures of friendship and understanding at local level that contentious issues would be resolved.










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The Wind That Shakes The Barley

British director Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes the Barley, set amid Ireland's struggle for independence in the early 1920s, won top honors at the Cannes Film Festival. Actor Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later, Batman Begins - pictured) stars as an Irish medical student who takes up arms during this tumultuous time in Irish history. The film highlights the effects of turmoil on ordinary people and the complexities of Ireland's struggle for independence at a grass-roots level.

Critics are divided over the effect that the political message has on the film. While some see it as a stirring monument to the struggle of the oppressed, others find that it stifles the emotional connection to the individuals. The Observer's Jason Solomons writes: "Loach balances political history lessons with human heartache, although towards the final stages the political debates seriously weaken the emotional impact of a story of two brothers divided." 

As the winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, The Wind that Shakes the Barley is likely to be a talking point, whether on its politics or its powerful acting.   


Ireland Cleans Up!

The Pittsburgh Litter Bug has friends in Ireland! The "Irish Business Against Litter", Anti-Litter League has seen a 30% drop in litter pollution since its inception in 2002. 57 towns of over 6,000 residents are surveyed annually. They vie for the title of “litter-free,” meaning clean by European norms. While 12 towns did achieve the “litter-free” title, many others were deemed “litter black spots,” a stigma that IBAL Chairman Dr. Tom Cavanagh says discourages overseas investors: “We’re showing not our best face, but a dirty face, to the commercial interests which are vital to our economy.”

Carlow topped the list this year as the number 1 litter-free city. IBAL attributes Carlow’s top position to the town’s efforts in organizing its own ‘Mini League’, whereby local areas in the town are pitted against each other on a weekly basis, with the results printed in the local papers. “Driven by the local authority, this engenders a real spirit of pride in the locality which is often hard to attain in a large town,” he commented. “Authorities struggling with litter problems in larger areas should look to this model.”

The Scots-Irish Migration of 1718

During the first years of the 18th century, nearly 700 Presbyterians of Scottish descent from the north of Ireland (known as Ulster Scots or Scots-Irish) emigrated to New England in five small ships. Attracted by Presbyterian ministers, freedom from religious oppression, and cheaper rents, the Scots-Irish arrived in the port of Boston before settling across New England and Pennsylvania. They founded Londonderry, New Hampshire, as the first Ulster-Presbyterian settlement in America. Although the Scots-Irish settlements were too scattered and sparsely populated to maintain a lasting identity, many towns in New England still have Scots-Irish names.

The Center for Migration Studies in collaboration with the Institute of Ulster-Scots Studies has established a new website about the Migration of 1718. The website provides background information about the Scots-Irish Presbyterians, their motivations for migrating, and genealogy and Ulster-Scots heritage. 

You can visit the website at


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

In the Summer and Fall of 2006, over forty young men and women from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are expected to arrive in Pittsburgh to participate in our Wider Horizons program.  These young people will receive two months of on-the-job training, personal development, exposure to American culture, and new insights into the problems at home through conflict resolution.  At the end of the eight weeks, the participants will return to Ireland, hopeful of securing employment and living in peace.


As an essential part of this program, we are looking for host families to house participants during these two separate eight-week long programs.  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.


The first group will arrive in Pittsburgh on 31st July and are from the Tyrone & Donegal areas while the 6th October sees the arrival of young people from Monaghan and Armagh.


For more information on becoming a Host Family, please contact the Ireland Institute at 412-394-3900.  






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Ireland’s Munster team became the 2006 rugby champions of Europe when they defeated France’s Biarritz in Cardiff. The 23-19 victory was long due after losses in the 2000 and 2002 finals. After the success of Ireland in this year's Triple Crown competition - Irish Rugby is at last in the ascendancy. The scoring was led by the Irish International team duo of Ronan O'Gara with two conversions and two penalties and Peter Stringer, with a spectacular try.

 The Ireland Institute’s own Meg Pusateri witnessed the pre-game festivities in Limerick. “It was crazy,” she said, “Even the 13th century castle was flying the Munster flag. It was like the Super Bowl all over again.


On Monday, June 05, 2006, thousands of women gathered in Dublin for the Women’s Mini Marathon. Touted as the largest women’s event of its kind, the marathon donated millions of euro to charities in a single day. According to the sponsors of the race, women were rarely seen training in public prior to the marathon’s founding in 1983. Until 1980, the longest distance women ran in the Olympics was 1,500 meters. Women can walk, jog, or run the 10 kilometer track, and each woman receives a medal upon crossing the finish line. In 2005, over 40,000 women participated, bringing the total number of participants since 1983 to 440,000 women.

















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Bloomsday In Pittsburgh, see Pittsburgh like never before as you travel through your day with Leopold Bloom. Bloomsday is upon us once more and famed Irish writer James Joyce's Ulysses is explored in readings from the book at various locations throughout Pittsburgh. For more information please see the events page of the Ireland Institute's website

AOH St. Patrick’s Division 4, North Hills will sponsor ‘Irish Day at Schitzen Park’ on Saturday June 24th, off Babcock Blvd. in Ross Twp. Entertainment with The West O’Clare and Michael Murphy & The Shannon River Band. All day activities, great outdoor setting and uncover in case of rain. Information: Patrick O’Brien  412-939-0408

Irish Summerfest at Classic Park, Eastlake Ohio - Thursday June 29 - Sunday July 2nd. Entertainment with The Fenians, The Peelers, The Elders, Searson, The McMorrows, Trish O’Brien, Cahal Dunne, Ciaran Sheehan, Swallows Tail Ceili Band, The Whole Shabang, and more! Troupes. Admission $9.00 at gate. Irish Mall, Irish Food & other refreshments. Free Parking. Information Patrick Coyne 440-942-0938 or .Only 2 hours from Pittsburgh!

Andy Stewart Recognition Night at Mullaney’s Harp & Fiddle, 24th Street & Penn Ave., in The Strip on Thursday June 29th. Beginning at 5pm – Happy Hour w/ Free Appetizers. Entertainment with Laughrey Connolly, Terry Griffith, Mike Gallagher, Tony Egan, Dave Hanner, and Guaranteed Irish.  CD Release Party 'It's all In The Song - A Tribute to Andy M. Stewart' recorded by these performers and available for sale.  Donation $10 at Door.  Raffle & Door Prize.  Information Diane Byrnes 412-781-6368 or Email: Print Flyer

Irish Gaelic Football returns to Pittsburgh this summer. For more information on game schedules or if you are interested in playing, please contact Danny Erb on 412-867-9363 or Sheila Shovlin on 412-417-4802. Upcoming games:

06-25 Celtics vs Detroit Padraig Pearse @ Founders Field, 2:30pm 07-16 Banshees vs Detroit St. Anne's @ Founders Field, 1:30pm        07-16 Celtics vs Detroit Wolf Tones @ Founders Field, 3:00pm       07-22 Celtics vs Baltimore @ Founders Field, 3:00pm 

Cleveland’s Irish Cultural Festival at Berea Fairgrounds on July 21st - 23rd. Entertainment includes: Tommy Makem, Foster & Allen, Gaelic Storm, Seven Nations, Irish Sopranos, Cherish The Ladies, Eileen Ivers, Johnny McEvoy, Tommy Fleming, New Barleycorn, Dermot Henry, Cathie Ryan, Young Dubliners, Jimmy Carton, Quagmire, Brendan Shine, David Munnally Band, Two Time World Irish Dance Champion Garrett Coleman from Pittsburgh, plus more. For more information contact 1-800-485-8013. Website: . 

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  

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.


One of the support services offered by the Ireland Institute includes furniture donation, collection and redistribution to the Walsh Peace Visa participants. The money they save, as they set up house, is realized immediately, and they are quite grateful to all Ireland Institute supporters who have kindly donated furniture and household items. 

New groups are arriving in the spring and summer of this year.  If you have any furniture or household items to donate, please contact the Institute at 412-394-3900. Our thanks and gratitude goes out to all involved.


Our Mission:

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.