By Ray O’Hanlon
Boston’s Irish Cultural Centre is ready to roll with its 12th annual Stonehill Irish Festival.
The festival will take place at Stonehill College Friday through Sunday, June 7-9, in North Easton, Mass.
Top of the bill will be Anthony Kearns of the Irish Tenors, and Gaelic Storm, a traditional group featured in the movie “Titanic.”
As well as being a showcase for musicians, authors and various Irish crafts, the festival also raises funds for the 46-acre Irish Centre in Canton.
For details call 1-888 GO-Irish or check the festival website at www.irishculture.org/festival.
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Witnesses sought in
Yonkers hit and run
Anyone who witnessed a hit and run incident in Yonkers the night before St. Patrick’s Day is being asked to step forward.
Gareth Devine, 28, from Rush, Co. Dublin, was struck by a U-Haul van shortly after leaving the Four Roads Bar on Yonkers Avenue. The vehicle slowed down and then sped away.
Devine suffered multiple serious injuries and is still in hospital. Anyone with information on the incident can contact Devine’s attorneys, Frank Durkan or J.P. Delaney, at (212)571-7100.
Ellis medals for
18 Irish Americans
Eighteen Americans with family ties to Ireland have been named as recipients of the annual Ellis Island Medal of honor.
Among the 18 who were presented with the medal by the National Coalition of Ethnic Organizations at a ceremony on Ellis Island last weekend were Lt. Gen. Bryan Brown, commanding general at U.S. special Operations Command; Maurice Buckley, president and CEO of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce USA, and Rep. Vito Fossella, who is Irish on his mother’s side. Also a medal recipient was John Fitzpatrick, North American CEO of the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group.
Lowey backs bill
Westchester County Rep. Nita Lowey has expressed her strong support for a House bill that would grant posthumous U.S. citizenship to a number of Irishmen who died fighting in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
Lowey, in a letter to a constituent, said she was “deeply committed” to the passage of H.R. 2623, the Posthumous Citizenship Restoration Act of 2001.
The bill is currently before the House Judiciary Committee.
The EU’s Commissioner for External Relations, Chris Patten, does not have fond memories of discussing Ireland with members of Congress.
In an op-ed in the Washington Post last week, Patten, who headed up the commission that spurred reform of the RUC, wrote that as a British minister, “I used to try to persuade American congressmen to take a tougher line on the funding of Irish terrorism.” Patten piece primarily dealt with the Middle East crisis and recent incidents of anti-Semitism in Europe.
“I would argue, usually to polite disagreement, I recall ruefully, that terrorist acts were always wrong,” Patten wrote.
“I would begin my set piece by saying that the beginning of wisdom in Ireland was to recognize that there were two authentic cries of pain and rage. Well I still believe it.”
Boston Irish award
The Boston Irish Tourism Association has been presented with a Tourism Marketing award by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.
The award for promoting Irish cultural events in Massachusetts was presented to BITA founder and president Michael Quinlin, his wife, Colette Quinlin, Diane Russell and David Burke.
The prize was earned by BITA for its marketing campaign, entitled “Massachusetts: Where Irish America Begins.” BITA is also behind Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail, a route through the city that unveils the story of the Boston Irish, and an annual Irish Writers Series.=