By Harry Keaney
The Irish Business Organization of New York will hold its annual gala ball on this Friday, Oct. 22, in the Grand Hyatt Hotel, in Manhattan. The IBO Business Person of the Year Award will be presented to Mayoman Sean James, 35, CEO of Yonkers-based Irish Food Distributors.
The Celtic Spirit Award will be presented to Fr. ‘ngus Finucane, honorary president of Concern Worldwide (U.S.) Inc.
The Arthur Clements Awards, named after the County Down man who founded the IBO, will be presented to Patrick Comasky, president of IBS Building Service Contractors; John Corkery, owner of Twin Lakes Ski Park; Maura Kelly, a producer at Channel 13-WNET; and Kevin Tierney, marketing executive at Sumitomo Life Insurance Agency America.
The Irish American Building Society will hold its fall luncheon on Nov. 3 in the Manhattan Club in Rosie O’Grady’s, 800 Seventh Avenue at 52nd Street, in Manhattan. The guest speaker will be Malachy McCourt, actor, author and radio talk show host. Details, call Martina O’Donoghue at (212) 564-1728 or (212) 613-0090.
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Such is the level of corruption and fraud in Ireland, much of which is only now being uncovered, that ordinary workers are becoming fed up with it all. While some of the wealthy and well-connected salted away millions from the tax man, these workers usually had no option but to pay top levels of tax. For PAYE workers, so-called because they pay their taxes under the pay-as-you-earn system, where tax is deducted directly from wages, the ongoing revelations have been particularly galling. Now, tens of thousands of PAYE workers are to soon stage a major national protest to demonstrate their anger.
One Irish union president, Jimmy Somers, said that he had not experienced such public outrage since the tax marches of the 1970’s and ’80s.
Gift to Villanova U.
Charles Heimbold, Jr., 54, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb, has endowed a chair in Irish studies at Villanova University, near Philadelphia.
Peter Fallon, Irish poet and editor of The Gallery Press in Dublin for the past 25 years, will be the inaugural Heimbold professor for the spring 2000 semester. Poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill will hold the chair the following spring.
Villanova was founded by Irish Augustinians in 1842. According to Dr. James Murphy, director of Villanova’s Irish studies program since its inception in 1981, it is "difficult to imagine a greater gift" than Heimbold’s.
Heimbold, and his wife, Monika, live in Riverside, Conn.
Seeking good women
The Brigid Award Committee is seeking nominations for its annual award.
The Brigid Award honors women whose lives embody the qualities of justice, generosity and compassion. The award is named after the 5th Century Irish woman who dedicated her life to helping the poor and the sick and who was a promoter of peace and reconciliation.
The award, established by a group of Chicago women of Irish heritage, is open to women of all backgrounds.
To nominate a woman, send a one-page letter of nomination to Rosemary Milew, 440 N. McClurg Court, #1104, Chicago, IL 60611.
The deadline for nominations is Nov. 1.
The award will be presented on St. Brigid’s Day, Feb. 1, in the Drake Hotel, in Chicago.
Costly road accidents
The cost of deaths or serious injuries on roads in the Republic of Ireland amounted to more than £800 million a year, according to a new report on road safety in Ireland.
The report is called the Bacon Report, after its compiler, Dr. Peter Bacon.
‘Breakdown in trust’
The Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross says that no
government should be surprised by the festering discontent among ordinary people over tax evasion, misuse of power and unashamed cronyism.
The Right Reverend Paul Colton, speaking at the opening of his first diocesan Synod, said that Irish society is witnessing a fundamental breakdown in trust which can only be redressed by a down to earth policy of listening to ordinary people.