The English Catholic martyr, St. Edmund Campion, lived in Dublin for a while in 1569 and here is what he wrote about the Irish: "The people are thus inclined: religious, franke, amorous, irefull, sufferable of paines infinite, very glorious, many sorcerers, excellent horsemen, delighted with warres, great almes-givers, passing in hospitalitie: the lewder sort both clarkes and … [Read more...] about Puddle Jumping
When I was 13 years old, my mother took my siblings and me to Rockaway Beach in New York City for the day. After we romped in the ocean and were sufficiently sunburned, we ended up at a rather run-down Irish tavern that was hosting a singing contest. Since I can carry a tune, my mother made me enter. All the entrants, adults and kids alike, sang well-known Irish songs. I … [Read more...] about The Blue Ribbon
Some thoughts on being Irish-American. As a proud Irish-American, I begin with a simple assumption: there is no way to precisely define that elusive, complex human category called the Irish-American. The tools of sociology are as inadequate to the task as the forms of the Census Bureau, and the jeweler's art of the lexicographer can't come close to an answer. This should … [Read more...] about The Bearing of the Green
Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1953 to 1987. His 10-year tenure as Speaker of the House was the longest consecutive run in U.S. history. Here he recalls growing up in Boston with his widower father.
Growing up as a youngster, you were instilled with three things. The first was the "No Irish Need Apply" signs and what those … [Read more...] about Tip O’Neill
Master of the House
During his 34 years with the Supreme Court, Justice William Brennan, Jr. (1906 - 1998) was widely recognized as one of the primary architects of public policy in the country.
On his childhood in Newark, N.J.: I had every kind of job in the world. Across the street from us was a dairy farm, and my brother Charlie, at five in the morning, would milk the cows, and by the … [Read more...] about William Brennan
Champion of Justice