The life of actor James Cagney provides an interesting case study in defying expectations. Aside from finding success meteorically beyond his impoverished background, he was a battle-tested fighter who not only liked painting and poetry but did not hesitate to dance around in a skirt and wig. Upon later becoming a superstar, he seemed to shun the attention which stardom brings. … [Read more...] about James Cagney: From Street-fighter to Bewigged Vaudevillian to Reluctant Film Screen Legend
World War I
The shipwreck of the RMS Lusitania has been gifted to a museum in Kinsale, County Cork, exactly 104 years after it was torpedoed by a German U-boat on May 7, 1915 during the first world war. The Lusitania, a Cunard liner, was the largest ship in the world when it was sunk by the German submarine. It went down in 18 minutes, 11 nautical miles off the Kinsale coast, killing 1,198 … [Read more...] about The Lusitania Gifted to Cork Museum
What's in a photograph? Writer John Fay reflects on an image of a grandfather he never knew as he's being sent to World War I.
My grandfather, John Fay, was born in Finavarra, County Clare in 1896. The youngest of twelve children, he grew up on a farm that juts out into Galway Bay. Family lore has it that he had an almost idyllic childhood – trapping lobsters and playing … [Read more...] about Weekly Comment:
Grandfather’s War Years
April 6, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the entrance of the United States into World War I. Irish Americans were mixed about intervention in Europe’s war, some supporting the dictum "England's difficulty isIreland's opportunity," but nonetheless hundred of thousands of them enlisted to fight. Among the Irish who fought in America's military was Butte, Montana’s Peter … [Read more...] about Weekly Comment: Irish America and WWI: The Story of Peter Thompson
Saturday, May 7 marks the 101st anniversary of the sinking of the R.M.S. Lusitania, the Liverpool-built passenger ship whose destruction sparked the United States’ decision to enter World War I in 1917. Just after two o’clock in the afternoon on May 7th, 1915, the luxury liner, heading from New York to Liverpool, was torpedoed by German U-boat 20, and then suffered a second, … [Read more...] about Weekly Comment: The Sinking of the Lusitania