Irish News of Interest - August 2019

§      Irish voters on May 26 overwhelmingly endorsed the liberalization of the constitution to make it easier to obtain a divorce.  More than 82% approved the change. 

§      A proposal for a National Irish American Museum has been made in Congress.  Funds will be raised through public contributions.  The museum will be located in Washington DC. 

§      Irishmen traveling by bus from Belfast to Dublin were required to show passports by Irish police when they were crossing the border.

§      Eileen Macklin, age 81, was brought up in a Dublin orphanage.  She finally met her mother, age 103, after searching for 60 years.  She was living in Scotland and they spent three days together.

§      Rory McIlroy will play in the 2020 Olympics representing Ireland.  He is a citizen of Northern Ireland (Great Britain).  He skipped the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

§      Cruise vessels sail from New York & Ft Lauderdale to Belfast, Cork and Dublin offering an alternative to flying.

§      Lyra McKee, a journalist, was shot and killed in Creggan, County Derry on April 18, 2019.  She was 29.  The IRA has issued a warning that informers will be executed. 

§      Irish potatoes are being credited for preventing a food crisis in remote parts of Etheopia.  The potatoes have saved millions from starving in that country.  The potato thrives in fields where other crops fail to grow.

§      A memorial honoring 13,000 Irishmen who lost their lives in the Flanders region of Belgium during WWI will be  located in the Peace Garden opposite Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin.

§      Fainne Oir is an Irish musical set to open on Broadway in New York in September 2019.  It is a love story set in the time of the Great Famine.

§      Kerrygold has reached $1.12 billion annual retail sales globally.  The Kerrygold brand was created in 1962.

§      Ryan O'Rourke is a major league baseball player with the New York Mets.  He is the only Irish citizen in the major leagues.  O'Rourke is a left-handed pitcher.

§      Actress Saoirse Ronan was the headliner at the Irish Funds in New York Gala on May 3.  Also honored were Ryan Dunne of Verizon and Eileen Murray of Bridgewater Associates.  The event raised over $2.3 million for Irish charities.

§      A statue of John F. Kennedy holding his great grandfather's bible has been unveiled in Bruff, County Limerick.  Bruff is the hometown of Kennedy's great-grandfather, Thomas Fitzgerald.  Kennedy held this bible when he was sworn into office.  Fitzgerald brought the bible with him when he emigrated to Boston in 1852.  

§      Amnesty International has called for support for two journalists, Barry McCaffrey and Trevor Birney.  The journalists were arrested for relying on unredacted secret documents received from an anonymous source naming suspects in the 1994 Loughinisland massacre.

§      A new map has been released which shows the location of 4,000 shipwrecks around Ireland including the Armada, WWI and WWII.

§      Dublin is the fifth most expensive city in Europe.  London is the most expensive.