By Ray O’Hanlon
Hillary Clinton is mulling whether she should march in the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade or spend the day shaking bear paws in a forest close to the Canadian border and as far away from Manhattan as it is possible to get in the Empire State. Opinions vary, but Wayne Barrett in the Village Voice lashed into Hillary’s dilemma last week by suggesting that she should go after the Irish vote big time, the Irish being the second largest voting block in the state.
"The first test of Hillary’s willingness to fight for this vote will occur in March, when she will either boycott or join the St. Patty’s parade." St. who? Anyway, Barrett went on to suggest that a boycott could kill Hillary off with the state’s Catholic vote, the Irish in particular.
Barrett continued: "Hillary has to convince gay leadership that the parade boycott is a self-defeating litmus test. . . . Making an enemy out of anyone who participates in a church-connected parade that bars gays from proclaiming their sexuality is dumb politics. It has already cost real political friends votes — like David Dinkins and Ruth Messinger — and heightened Irish hostility to gay interests."
Barrett added a Plan B for the newly minted Yankees fan: "If Hillary decides — for whatever reason — not to show, she should get herself out to Pearl River in Rockland County, where the state’s second biggest and the nation’s ninth biggest St. Patrick’s Day Parade is held and where gays have not made marching a sin. A campaign that concentrates media buys on Notre Dame football games . . . turns the Irish peace agreement into a commercial and searches for a way to move slices of the Catholic vote may beat Rudy."
Earlier in his piece, Barrett hints at one way Hillary might reach for such a scenario: "Will Gerry Adams tour with Hillary, reminding the Irish that no president has done more to bring peace to Ireland than Bill Clinton, and no prosecutor did more to entomb Joe Doherty than Rudy Giuliani?"
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Adams is in New York this week. Perhaps somebody will pose this question to him.
Frank’s the man
The folks at New York’s branch of Noraid, basking in the glow of political progress in the wee North, will doubtless party a little hardier this year when they convene at the Southgate Hotel on Jan. 22 for their annual dinner. "IF" is delighted to see that the lads and lassies over at Seventh Avenue have decided to honor attorney Frank Durkan. After years of serving Irish America’s cause, Durkan will take a well-deserved bow. Not bad at all for a half-starved immigrant from Mayo who reached the pinnacle of success on his very first night in America and has been scrambling to emulate himself ever since.
Durkan spent his first night behind the golden door of Gracie Mansion. His uncle, William O’Dwyer, was mayor of New York at the time. Seems that when his other uncle, Paul O’Dwyer, heard about this very un-Frank McCourtish introduction to the New World, he made sure that nephew Frank was evicted from the mansion and made live humbly elsewhere, like the rest of the huddled Irish masses. Proper order!
Zzzzzzzzz . . .
And this just in from Dublin-published Business & Finance magazine: "WebFactory has completed a major upgrading of its New York hosting facility, involving migrating all servers to a new data center to provide a 500 percent increase in server and database performance and bandwidth. The project also involves the implementation of two standby hosting systems to support clients with servers in Dublin and New York."
Brilliant marketing ploy. You have to buy the next issue of B&F to get the English translation.
News that Archbishop Sean Brady is to be made a cardinal will gladden the hearts of many Catholics in Ireland who feel that the old sod has been left out on a limb by the Vatican since, well, for ever. Surprising though it may seem, Brady’s elevation to red-hat status will mean — assuming he stays alive and healthy — that the Irish church will actually have a vote in the next papal conclave.
The last time Ireland was even in a position to cast a vote for pope was over 50 years ago. The elevation of Brady is a break with tradition because his predecessor, the retired Cahal Daly, is still alive, although he no longer enjoys conclave voting status. The Sunday Tribune reported that the break with tradition reflected the high esteem which Pope John Paul has for Ireland and Archbishop Brady.
Good for him. Pity all those Italians never felt the same way. All that service to the church by the Irish over the years and not a sniff of a chance in even choosing a pope, never mind getting an Irish one elected. Not surprising of course considering that the wee sod is limited to a single active red hat. Sure St. Patrick wouldn’t even have a vote if he was still alive.
€ "We are . . . run by men made passionate by just two things, bloody football and bloody ward politics. Their arena is the arena of the ultra-traditional male; the pub, the cumann hall, the race course, the football pitch and the golf course."
Columnist Emily O’Reilly in the Sunday Business Post presenting her view on the state of Irish politics.
€ "The fact that government files on nationalist citizens were found in an Orange Hall and that details from those files have been turned over to loyalist death squads is shocking and disgraceful. The inquiry must determine why these files were amassed in the first place and, most important, who turned them over to loyalist hit men. Was it the RUC or some element of British intelligence?"
Rep. Peter King calling for an independent inquiry into the discovery of intelligence files in Stoneyford Orange Hallm in County Antrim.
€ "Republicans make no apology for our noble stance and we challenge the pro-treaty parties to justify their position and their feeble attempts at portraying that national self-determination has taken place."
Excerpt of "New Year Statement" by Francie Mackey of the 32 County Sovereignty Movement.
€ "When I first heard Albert Einstein was Time Magazine’s Person of the Century, I thought perhaps my computer was having its first Y2K glitch."
Ray Flynn, national president of Catholic Alliance.
€ "Murphy’s Irish Stout in Win." Headline from Altavista web page referring to performance of Notre Dame sophomore Troy Murphy in basketball game against Connecticut.