THIRTY-NINTH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION (PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTIONS) BILL 2019 has passed 1st stage in Oireachtas today (16th September 2019)
Purpose of the Bill
The Thirty-ninth Amendment of the Constitution (Presidential Elections)
Bill 2019 proposes to amend Article 12 of the Constitution in both the Irish
and English text with text to provide that all citizens, without distinction of
sex who have reached the age of eighteen years who are not disqualified by
law and comply with the provisions of the law relating to elections for the
office of President, shall have the right to vote at an election for the office
of President. In addition, the Bill proposes to increase the timeframe, from
60 to 90 days, in which an election for the office of President must be held.
The amendments to Article 12 would take effect for elections held on or
after 1 January 2025.
Presidential visit to Liverpool 2019 Gerry Molumby Photographer
Irish in UK tv takes you back to Crawley’s Irish Festival in the sun.
Martin and Annette Logan have filmed and edited a truly wonderful retelling of Crawley Irish Festival in this full programme
My slideshow on the day is here
TG 4 ‘ups the Aunty’ at Fleadh Choil 2019
(the quality of broadcast is better on youtube than website !)
We are still making them to the calibre of Roger Casement’s humanitarianism.
and many from the Irish in Britain
Don’t miss this joy from RTE Radio
It is bank holiday Monday in Ireland and in change of schedule Ireland is in party mood. Zoë Conway one of Ireland’s most versatile fiddlers, is joined by guitarist John MacIntyre and the RTE Concert Orchestra for an hour of her tunes as you’ve never heard them before.
Missed Opportunity from Irish in Britain
Irish in Britain has published its response to the Irish Governments Diaspora Policy 2020-2025. Some very good aspirational recommendations made. One quote has caused me concern and is a missed opportunity, “Irish in Britain does not advocate a stance on the upcoming referendum on Diaspora voting rights “.
President at Embassy of Ireland London St. Brigid’s Day 2018.
Gerry Molumby Photographer
As The Federation of Irish Societies it took a definite membership stance ‘in favour’ at Congress 2010 in Sheffield. Following a recommendation from me and a membership vote it was mandated to engage with, and it did, with the pending Constitutional Convention. This I believe contributed the high percentage (79%) of convention members recommending to the government to host a referendum to amend the Constitution, to allow Irish Citizens Abroad to vote in future presidential elections. This referendum is so far planned for end of October.
Since the conclusion of the Convention 2012/13 and to my disappointment, Irish in Britain has left it to groups like Votes for Irish Citizens Abroad and me to lead this campaign. Also the Maurice Manning – report on Reform of the Seanad (2015) recommended highly for Diaspora representation in the Seanad.
Surely all the areas of good work and campaigning by the Irish in Britain would be greatly enhanced by a presidential vote and a voice in the upper legislative of the Oireachtas. What a limp contribution on such positive opportunities available to the Irish in Britain.
Building on firm foundations of the past London Irish Centre is having major ‘makeover’ and invites your opinion!
We have just a launched a project site which gives the context and broad vision: Here : www.licfuture.org.
On that site, there is a short survey which gives you the opportunity to tell us what you think is most important in the development. Note: The survey is open until August 10th.
Le buíochas,Gary Dunne
London Irish Centre ~1995!
39th Annual MacGill Summer School
Sunday July 21st – Friday July 26th, 2019
A GLOBAL CRISIS: CAN THE CENTRE HOLD?
Portrait of a President !
House of Art documentary
This remarkable documentary from Oireachtas News explores of the portraits in the State Art Collection at Leinster House, presented by artist and then president of the Royal Hibernian Academy Mick O’Dea ,he gives a unique insight into his painting of the portrait of President Michael D. Higgins which hangs in Leinster House.
My portrait of father of the Irish Nation
London 2017 (Gerry Molumby Photographer)
Yorkshire man and longterm advocate of Irish music, song and dance takes his vision to the top of the ‘High Street’
My first memory of Fleadh Cheoil goes back to 1965 when it was held in my native Thurles.
Evolving every year to this year in Drohaeda where the World Fleadh , the biggest free ‘town festival’ of the best of Irish Music will be held .
For many years, the Fleadh Cheoil UK was hosted at university campuses and collages with competition dominating and the audience mainly fellow compeditors. In all those years standards of music have gone from strength to strength and to those tutors we will be eternally greatful. Everyone in Kirkby Lonsdale was welcomed to this one, as the Town was be taken over by musicians from far and wide competing and performing in venues around Kirkby lonsdale. Approximately 600 of the best musicians in Britain were there on the weekend of June 29/30. A total of 245 competitions!
So what a joy for Pete Fawcett’s vision to take the Fleadh to the beautiful town of Kirkby Lonsdale .
After four and half years as RTE London Correspondent Fiona Mitchell tells us “the landscape has changed more than I could ever have imagined when I arrived in January 2015”
Gerry Molumby Ryan Tubridy , Fiona Mitchell and Ian McDonald at Terry Wogan Memorial September 27th 2016
Fiona tells her full story here !
Glastonbury nearly over now time to head to Crawley Irish Festival
LONDON – LEEDS AND MANCHESTER
Opportunity to meet Diaspora Minister Ciaran Cannon , help shape Irish Abroad Policy and share Good Practice .
Minister Ciaran Cannon will be visiting Leeds & Manchester on 4th July to hear your views on our new Diaspora Policy & to discuss the Common Travel Area. For more details and registration.
In a changing world, how do we continue to connect with people who feel a connection to Ireland? How can we support and strengthen those long-established Irish communities abroad, including many across the UK? How are these communities changing, and what are their needs now? These questions not only represent a challenge, but more importantly an exciting opportunity to engage with and reflect the input of Irish communities in the UK.
Irish Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon, T.D., will host a public meeting on Ireland’s new Diaspora Policy, expected to be published in 2020. We want to hear your views on how we can improve our support for, and connections with, the Irish community of which you are a part.
For further details on the Diaspora Policy consultation process, please see :
Rhoda wife of the late Gordon Bowker biographer of James Joyce and Sean Cannon from the Dubliners attend Bloomsday in Northampton
16th Annual Bloomsday 2019
Looking for your support
East Midlands based teachers Joan McCarthy and Fiona Molumby returning to South Africa this summer to support teachers in their new schools built by Ireland’s Mellon Educate
Centre – Niall Mellon- Founder
Fiona leading her workshop group
Fiona told us “I feel the adventure has not yet finished and there is a lot more to do, hence I am going out again on 27 July. It was a truly amazing experience and I thank all of those who supported me to get there. I ask again for your support be it financially, materially or with words as these words keep me going. I have been fundraising, but if you are willing and able to contribute towards helping me reach my target needed, I would appreciate that .Thank you in advance and be assured of all the children I meet knowing about you”
Fiona’s just giving page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fiona-molumby2
Mellon Educate is an Irish-based African development charity founded by developer & philanthropist Niall Mellon in 2002 and established as a charitable company in 2004. Thanks to the enormous collective effort of some 25,000 volunteers, in conjunction with the South African government, has built houses for 125,000 homeless people in South Africa’s poorest townships. This was only possible because ordinary people took selfless action to do something truly extraordinary, lend a helping hand on our annual “building blitz” in South Africa. In 2012, we proudly celebrated a milestone achievement for the charity with 25,000 houses completed.
Irish Travellers in Nottingham Prison set up Self – Advocacy forum .
I have been visiting Irish prisoners in Nottingham prison for over a year now , many of whom are Travellers. As a volunteer for The Irish Chaplaincy in Britain and in conjunction with the Catholic Chaplaincy , Sr. Bernadette (who works with Travellers Families locally) and Equality Officer in Nottingham prison we are launching the advocacy forum on June 19th ; as part of Travellers Awareness month and Appleby Horse Fair. We facilitate but the group is owned by the prisoners.
The day will focus on Traveller Awareness Issues , music , food and is open to staff and guests on the day , but mainly to set programmed meetings where the prisoners can work more closely with probation, employment , health services etc in preparation for discharge and ongoing support while in custody.
PICTURE ABOVE : With no access to internet and by implication any social media, the prisoners appreciate the ‘paper media’ brought in by volunteers. My son’s football magazines and The Irish Post are particularly popular.
Father Gerry Mc Flynn supports Irish Prisoners throughout the UK
Votes for the Irish Abroad ~ not a given
In the pending referendum in October the ‘givers’ will be those entitled to vote in Irish elections. This will include the many thousands who have in recent years become Irish citizens along with those currently on the electoral register. On a recent visit to London (May 10th) the Tánaiste ,Simon Coveney, confirmed the intention to go ahead with the referendum on October 24th on the basis of all Irish citizens being eligible to vote for Presidential elections without necessarily showing an Irish passport. This is very inclusive and although I would be happy if it had been limited to passport holders, I welcome the inclusive citizenship, maybe they feared a constitutional challenge ?.The minister told the diaspora in London that he would strongly support the referendum, and felt there would be cross party support, but warned that there will be difficult questions raised in the campaign. He stressed that there would be scepticism to be overcome in some quarters in Ireland. He also noted the requirement for both sides of the referendum to be given time to put their case. I predict the referendum will carry but I would like a majority of lets say 78% to mirror the vote of the previous Constitutional Convention in 2013.
This will not be given unless we continue and closer to the time be clear with the electorate on what they are voting for and ‘demyth’ some of the fears and anxieties of the electorate I look forward along with VICA (Votes for Irish Citizens Abroad) http://www.vica.ie/posts/page/3/ to continue to be part of this great continued debate/campaign.
Charles Trevelyan not the only villain of Ireland’s famine but Charles Wood also.
Melvyn Bragg (BBC Radio 4) and guests discuss why the potato crop failures in the 1840s had such a catastrophic impact in Ireland. The programme and guests tease out the complications of the famine to be more than just simply no potatoes .
Cormac O’Grada Professor Emeritus in the School of Economics at University College Dublin Niamh Gallagher University Lecturer in Modern British and Irish History at the University of Cambridge And Enda Delaney Professor of Modern History and School Director of Research at the University of Edinburgh .
It is estimated that one million people died from disease or starvation after the blight and another two million left the country within the decade. There had been famines before, but not on this scale. What was it about the laws, attitudes and responses that made this one so devastating?
Charles Wood, 1st Viscount Halifax by Anthony de Brie (Bree)
In the most green of English counties Nottingham goes the full 40 shades.
New play on daughter of James Joyce and Nora Barnacle ‘Letters to Lucia’ , her lives and loves and end of life spent in Northampton UK
Minister Cannon spoke this week in Dáil Éireann specifically on ongoing support to the Irish Diaspora in Britain
Ciaran said ” my speech gave me the opportunity to reassure members of our global Irish community in Britain that Brexit will not change our Government’s commitment to supporting each and everyone of them.”
Don Mescall takes you from London to visit his family in Waterford and sings with Mount Sion Choir ~ its a wrap lads !
Mary Kennedy meets Irish singer/songwriter Don Mescall to speak about his life, his music and his new CD Lighthouse Keeper, only the second he’s written for himself. We also meet The Mount Sion Choir, which is based in an all boys secondary school in the heart of Waterford city. What a joy to watch a story of happy Irish family life!
Follow the President of Ireland around the most Irish of British cities ~ Liverpool
Large Red squirrels found roaming in Dingle !
Pass through the village of Llangefni and you could easily miss the Dingle (Nant y Pandy) Nature Reserve. This blissful woodland appears to be hidden at first, but it offers an enticing escape into a landscape that is alive with wildlife. The park also hosts several sculptures that reflect the character of the nature reserve. Bring your camera for photos of this peaceful corner of Anglesey and take your time to explore the area.
A raised and fenced wooden boardwalk was one of several 21st-century developments in the nature reserve. Find the start of the trail then set off to explore the area with ease, on foot or by wheelchair or stroller. The paths run beneath a canopy of oak and ash trees. Come in spring to witness the undergrowth explode with the colour of bluebells.
Look for the artworks that decorate the parkland as you walk around the trail. Sculptures include a giant dragonfly, seed pods and split timbers with a poem engraved on the inside. The park also includes sculpted benches and picnic tables, making it an ideal place to take a break.
Follow the trail in a circular route. The whole trail is about 1.5 miles (roughly 2 kilometers) long. At a gentle pace you should finish the circuit in around an hour. To explore some more, keep going to find the Cefni Reservoir on a 6-mile (10-kilometer) round trip.
Take binoculars to Nant y Pandy to spot the wildlife that lives here. Red squirrels are rare elsewhere in the country, but have been reintroduced to parts of Anglesey, including this reserve.
Frogs, newts, adders and lizards make up the reptile population, while a wide variety of birds call the reserve home. Watch the water’s edge for a glimpse of a kingfisher’s iridescent colors.
The Dingle (Nant y Pandy) Nature Reserve is free to enter and open throughout the year. Drive to the Church of St. Cygnar and park nearby, then head out onto the trails on foot. The wooden boardwalk does not require special footwear or hiking experience.
Irish Cabaret returns to the home of dramatist W.S. Gilbert (as in Sullivan !) on Friday February 8th
special guest current world champion dancer Joe McGeown
Four cakes, a key moulded from candle grease, a file and Michael Collins and Harry Boland waiting for you outside. Eamon De Valera’s ‘great escape’ from Lincoln Gaol
3rd February 1919
Erik Grigg heralds in this documentary one of the ‘great escape’ stories in Irish and British history ; as part of the Centenary Commemoration event taking place in Lincoln on the eve of this historic day.
I will be there covering the event for
He did not set out to be, but when you heard Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin perform he was the pulse of Ireland and its Diaspora.
When I heard late last night (Nov 7th) of the death of Mícheál my mind was awash with sound bites and what a tribute to a man who spent his life making sounds. What his mentor Seán Ó Riada did for the Chieftains he did for the Riverdance generation.
About ten years ago at the Newcastle Irish Festival here in the UK I saw him gave a master class at the University there. He involved everyone in that music department they and we the audience entered into his ‘Irish World’. For when the music and musician you have chosen for your funeral dies (Eleanor Plunkett) …it stops you also in your tracks. For me he was to the Irish scale what Seamus Heaney was to its alphabet. If Heaney could create magic images recalling his mother peeling potatoes Mícheál the Máistir created for me something between ‘two worlds’ in his collaboration with the monks of Glenstall Abbey, his orchestra, the female voice of his wife Nóirín Ní Riain and Brian Kennedy to create Lumen (Light!)
Thank God for today we can go with Mícheál ‘Between Two Worlds’ via
Sarah Jane Hughes 100th birthday Wednesday November 7th 2018
100 today and still standing proud as an Irish women ” and my passport is still green“
Late last year I interviewed Sarah in her 99th year and my full interview is available below. Despite a fall a few months ago and a hip replacement Jane made a speedy recovery, responded to physiotherapy and is now mobilising well. She was joined by her large extensive family on Nov 7th to celebrate this great milestone.
What is the best piece of Irish Music ?
For me it is Eleanor Plunkett, by composer Turlough O’Carolan (1670–1738).
Here are my favourite versions ;
Car park acoustics!
The Master himself
Following on from the Global Irish Civic Forum held at Dublin Castle in May…the Global Irish Diaspora Directory ….is now available in furthering the links that bind us together. A good piece of work by and from the Irish Government Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretariat.
Thomas Moore the bard of Ireland……….but , ” in a village of England your bones should have rest”
In a recent edition of the Irish World I read of the revived interest by Eleanor Mc Evoy on the works of Thomas Moore.
What readers may not know is that he joins the band of famous Irish people buried in the UK. His wife wanted him buried with his two children in the family vault in Bromham, Wiltshire.
The British Poet Laureate John Betjeman called him ” dear bard of my boyhood”, he was mine also as my dad used sing his songs and I became ‘ a ministral boy’.
” In the churchyard of Bromham the yews intertwine
O’er smooth granite cross of a Celtic design,
Looking quite our of place in surroundings like these
In a corner of Wilts’ twixt the chalk and the cheese.
I can but account you neglected and poor,
Dear bard of my boyhood, mellifluous Moore,
That far from the land which of all you loved best
In a village of England our bones should have rest .
Other famous Irish Abroad include George Bernard Shaw (Ayot St Lawrence, nr Welwyn), Percy French (Formby ‘across the mersey) and Sean O’ Casey (Golders Green)