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  • Dublin man in Dubai only misses the rain

    Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

    The Irish of Dubai are featured in an article on the Time Out Dubai website – and one of them reports the only thing he misses is the rain.

    Cormac Lynch, a 26-year-old architect who has been in Dubai for eight months, says he came for economic opportunity, and knows many people in architecture and design who came over for the opportunity to create something new.

    He tells Time Out:

    I’m from Dublin and, although Dublin’s also a city, when I first came out here, I still found it daunting. But I really like it now – the sun, the beach and all the people you meet. I like that there are so many international people here that you wouldn’t necessarily meet back home in Ireland.

    I do miss the rain, I have to say, and the greenness of everything, but other than that, I don’t miss much. I never go anywhere that’s strictly Irish, like the Irish Village. Like I said, I’m here to meet new people, though I have met some Irish people at Gaelic matches, which take place in Safa Park.

    Read more about Cormac and some fellow Dubai-based expats on the TimeOutDubai.com website.

    Related websites:

    Calls for greater care of elderly follows death of man in NY

    Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

    The death of a 72-year-old Irish man in New York has resulted in a new focus on the needs of elderly Irish emigrants in the US.

    Tony Gallagher, originally from Ballycorrick, Co Mayo had died perhaps as long as a week before his body was found in his Queens apartment. Though some press reports have depicted Mr Gallagher as being socially isolated, other reports have noted he was an active member of his local community and, though he lived alone, had close contacts with family members. Mr Gallagher’s Leitrim-born wife, Josephine, is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s Disease. His brother lives in Massachusetts, where Mr Gallagher had visited him to celebrate Thanksgiving weeks before he died. In mid-December he apparently suffered a heart attack and died; his body was not discovered until firemen broke into his apartment as much as a week later, after a caretaker noted Mr Gallagher’s absence.

    Ciaran Staunton of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform in New York has described the need for a census of the Irish community there. Calling Mr Gallagher’s death as a wake-up call, he said, “No one knew he existed. That’s the problem. That’s what we intend to change.? Work on the census has already begun, with volunteers knocking on doors and community leaders registering the elderly.

    Mr Staunton also called for the opening of drop-in centres in the Queens area to discourage isolation and build a sense of camaraderie. He said that the community would be looking to successful models in England as examples for work in Queens, naming the Leeds community as one such example.  The Aisling Irish Centre in Yonkers also has a well-established programme for the elderly, and there are other programmes throughout the New York area.

    Mr Staunton is asking both the Irish and the Northern Irish governments for support in funding the programme. Mr Staunton praised the work of the Irish government, telling the Irish Times,

    “Not too often does a Taoiseach get praised, but when Brian Cowen was minister for foreign affairs he was instrumental in funding services here. Now that Micheál Martin has stepped into Mr Cowen’s shoes we have been met with nothing but a positive response.”

    The Evening Herald reported that Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin would look at funding an outreach worker to visit emigrants in their own homes.

    See related articles:

    108-year-old Irish woman dies in SA – 18 years after emigrating

    Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

    A 108-year-old Irish women who emigrated to South Africa at the age of 90 died there this weekend, according to the Irish Times. Kitty Ball was born in Skerries in 1901 and moved to South Africa to be with her daughter and grandchildren. Mrs Ball had a rich and active life full of travel and sport, refusing to enter a nursing home as she believed they were for old people. She attributed her longevity to her habit of a glass of sherry every morning at eleven.

    Read the full story at the Irish Times website.


    Recognise Oasis’s Irish links, says Mayo county councillor

    Monday, January 5th, 2009

    A Mayo county councillor intends to rectify the “long-standing injustice” done to Manchester-born Noel and Liam Gallagher – also known as Oasis. Michelle Mulherin of Fine Gael is tabling a motion at this month’s meeting of Mayo County Council to honour the brothers, whose mother came from Charlestown. They are frequent visitors to the town, and often visited their maternal grandmother before her death in 2000.

    Cllr Mulherin told the Evening Herald:

    “The story of Liam and Noel Gallagher is that of so many of the Irish diaspora, it’s the Irish dream fulfilled. They stayed close to their mother’s homeplace and to Irish culture. Mayo is not just in their blood, it’s etched in their hearts.

    “When they came to visit the home-place as children, they came to a place with no running water, which wasn’t uncommon in that era. They always talk fondly about their memories of going fishing and berry-picking, and going into the local shop for Silvermints or a Brunch. Those are memories so many Irish people identify with.”

    The question of awards for members of the Irish diaspora is one that has been raised before. The 2002 Task Force report on Irish emigrants  called for an award to recognise the achievements of the Irish abroad.

    Read the entire article on the Evening Herald website.

    Irish immigrant in NY fights extradition

    Monday, January 28th, 2008

    A County Louth native is fighting extradition from the US. Joe Byrne, a resident of Pearl River, New York, is facing an extradition warrant filed by the Director of Public Prosecution in Ireland. Authorities there allege he was involved in two robberies over ten years ago. Mr Byrne was questioned by gardai in 1997 over the case, in which £8,200 was stolen from a pub; at that time, he was released without charge. Shortly after, he moved to the US, met his wife, Eileen, and received a green card; on the application, he admitted that he had been questioned in the case and provided a reference from the gardai in Dundalk.

    In July 2006, however, he was arrested by FBI agents on the warrant from the Irish authorities. Last fall, a court in New York decided against him.

    His extradition was originally scheduled to take place before 29th of January, but the Department of State has agreed to put off the extradition until at least next month.

    Mr Byrne’s wife, Eileen, told the Irish Emigrant that she fears for his life were he to be extradited, saying the main person involved in the robbery was a known member of the INLA.

    The Ancient Order of Hibernians is supporting a petition campaign to stop the extradition.

    Read the full story in the Irish Emigrant.

    View the petition to stop the extradition.