Category: Archive

Business Briefs Mass. Tourism shows its true — Irish — colors

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Harry Keaney

The Boston Irish Tourism Association has announced details of a new $100,000 campaign promoting Massachusetts’ Irish cultural and literary activities, festivals, sporting events and businesses.

The announcement coincided with the release of a free calendar brochure and a website.

More than 26 percent of Massachusetts residents claim Irish ancestry, making it the most Irish state in the U.S., while Boston is often considered the capital of Irish America, according to the tourism association.

The brochure, "Massachusetts: Ireland’s Other County," profiles dozens of Irish activities such as the Stonehill Irish Festival, Boston College’s Gaelic Roots music and dance program, the Ireland-USA soccer match at Foxboro Stadium, dance performances "Lord of the Dance" and "CoisCeim," and new exhibits at the John F. Kennedy Library-Museum.

The marketing campaign is partially funded by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism as well as the Boston Irish Famine Memorial Committee and other Irish groups.

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The brochure, which is free, may be obtained by calling 1 (888) 749-9494 or by logging onto www.irishmassachusetts.com.

Cardinal’s will

According to the will of the late Cardinal John O’Connor, who died last month, the bulk of his personal holdings is to go to his siblings, the Archdiocese of New York and the Sisters of Life, an order of nuns he founded.

It was not clear how much the cardinal’s estate might be worth. The will was filed in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court last Wednesday.

The will contained specific instructions for conducting his funeral. Among them, he asked that his coffin be "as simple as possible for burial in a crypt" and that its price be "between the lower one-third and mid-range average cost."

His chalice and all earnings from the publication of his papers are to be donated to the Sisters of Life. The cardinal also ordered that all his personal papers marked confidential or "pontifical secret" be destroyed.

ICCUSA update

The Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the U.S. will host a private luncheon for an Irish parliamentary delegation on this Friday, June 9, at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan.

Heading the Irish delegation will be Séamus Pattison, T.D., cathaoirleach of the Dáil, and Des O’Malley, T.D., who chairs the Dáil’s joint committee on foreign affairs. Special guest at the luncheon will be New York’s lieutenant governor, Mary O’Connor Donohue.

IBO news

The Irish Business Organization of New York will host a networking dinner on June 20 at 6 p.m. in Beckett’s Restaurant, 78 Pearl St., between Broad Street and Hanover Square. For details, call Dan Comiskey at (212) 571-9695.

A networking breakfast will take place on June 27 at 8 a.m. in Mezze Restaurant, on 44th Street, between Fifth and Madison. For details, call Bill Buckley at (212) 627-2111.

The IBO’s annual golf outing will take place June 15 at New Jersey National Golf Club.

New business

Wexford man Brendan Keilthy has launched a new "gift relay" company offering same-day delivery of wines, spirits and champagnes in 200 locations in Ireland and 1,600 in Britain.

Keilthy has raised $750,000 in venture capital for the new company, which is called Drinklink. Gifts are hand delivered, gift-wrapped and come with a message on a greeting card. Drinklink serves both private and corporate clients.

"Raising the finance was a huge challenge," Keilthy said, "but now, with the backing we have, we want to expand the distribution network quickly and roll out our marketing and communications plan."

For more information, log onto www.drinklink.ie.

Row resolved

The row between shareholders of Blarney Woollen Mills Ltd. seems as if it’s finally nearly conclusion, at least in the legal arena. The High Court in Dublin was told recently that the shareholders had resolved their differences and were proposing to divide the assets of the company among them. This would result in two new corporate entities, with one group of shareholders taking one part of the business while the remaining shareholders would run the rest of the business.

Mr. Justice Philip O’Sullivan directed that a meeting of the company be summoned for June 14 for the purpose of considering and voting on the proposed arrangement. The proposals must eventually be approved by the court.

The long-established family company is best known in the U.S. for its comprehensive Irish gift catalogue. Until recently, it had a warehouse in New Jersey, but now all orders are shipped directly from Ireland.

Arthur Wall dies

The death occurred last week of well-known Irish businessman Arthur Wall. He had been on the board of Clery’s for 30 years and retired as chief executive in 1992. He remained as deputy chairman.

He was also general manager of Aer Lingus and retired after 25 years in the mid-1970s. He was 74.

Corporate donations

In Ireland, just like in the U.S., the issue of political contributions is a hot topic.

President Clinton has clinched the record as the most prolific fund-raiser ever for the Democrats. And although he says he is for reform of the system, he insists it should not happen unilaterally.

In Ireland, the issue of political donations has taken on a new urgency because of seemingly never-ending allegations of corruption. But some Irish politicians concerned about reform are taking refuge in . . . the constitution.

The Labor party has demanded that the principle of banning corporate donations to political parties be accepted before an all-party committee examines the matter. But Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has rejected that demand, saying such a ban would conflict with provisions in the constitution. Ahern said if there was no all-party agreement, the government would bring in its own legislation to deal with corruption.

However, Labor’s deputy leader, Brendan Howlin, said his party is not prepared to go into a talking shop unless the principle of breaking the link with corporate donations is established. Ahern, however, said that when Howlin was in government he had done nothing about donations because he had been advised by the then attorney general it was constitutionally impossible.

Sounds like no unilateral movement in Ireland either.

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