By Ray O’Hanlon
The surge in North Atlantic air travel is showing no sign of leveling off. Aer Lingus this week announced four extra flights a week from Boston’s Logan Airport to Ireland beginning next February.
From Feb. 7, Aer Lingus will operate two flights on four days of every week, one each to Shannon and Dublin non-stop, while a single flight will depart Boston for Shannon and Dublin on the other three days. According to Aer Lingus, the increase in flights represents a 60 percent rise over present late winter capacity out of Boston.
"We have been careful to grow the airline, matching our capacity to the needs of the marketplace," said Jack Foley, Aer Lingus executive vice president, North America.
"The Boston routes have been going from strength to strength and we are delighted to be able to introduce new flights that will enhance our service from New England and also offer improved connections to England and Scotland," Foley said.
Arizona recalls Famine
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Arizona’s Irish community will set the seal on its commemoration of the Irish Famine this weekend when a Great Hunger memorial is unveiled in Phoenix.
Two years in the making, the memorial, which is modeled on a Celtic passage grave, will be revealed to the public for the first time at a ceremony set for Margaret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix.
The memorial is on a site, which has been earmarked for a planned Irish Cultural and Learning Center. The cornerstone for the center will be set after the memorial unveiling.
Those expected to attend the ceremony include the Irish Consul General in San Francisco, Kevin Conmy, Bishop Thomas J. O’Brien and Phoenix mayor Skip Rimsza.
Cathedral in danger
St. Brendan’s Cathedral in Clonfert, Co. Galway, has been listed among the world’s 100 most endangered sites by a U.S.-based preservation group.
The addition of St. Brendan’s to the list was confirmed last week at a press conference in New York held by World Monuments Watch. The group put together the list of 100 threatened sites to coincide with the millennium.
Efforts to restore the cathedral are being spearheaded by the St. Brendan the Navigator Restoration and Education Foundation of New York. St. Brendan’s Cathedral dates from the mid-12th century.
Other sites on the watch list include the Roman-era remains at Pompeii and the Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru.
A one year anniversary Mass for James McDermott, nephew of 1916 leader Sean MacDiarmada, will be celebrated on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 5 p.m. at the Don Bosco Chapel, Marian Shrine in Stony Point, Rockland County. McDermott died one year ago in Philadelphia. For details, call Donal Gormley at (914) 638-1159.
McGuinness in D.C.
Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness was in Washington, D.C., last week where he met with a number of members of Congress and senior White House staff.
McGuinness told House International Relations Committee chairman Ben Gilman and other congressmen that his party intended to approach the George Mitchell review of the Good Friday accord with a "very positive and constructive frame of mind."
Martin O’Malley, whose hobbies include playing with his band O’Malley’s March, will have less time for music after he emerged from a pack of candidates to secure the Democratic nomination for November’s mayoral election in Baltimore, Maryland. O’Malley is virtually certain to win the election in a city, where Democrats control the bulk of political life.
McAleese meets Davis
President Mary McAleese concluded her week-long California visit this week by meeting with Gov. Gray Davis in Sacramento. Earlier, McAleese met with San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and the mayor of Los Angeles, Richard Riordan.