Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916

Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916
The Signatories of the Proclamation

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

International Great Hunger commemoration to be held in New Orleans

Depiction of a family during the Irish potato famine

In an article in by Jane Walsh subtitled 

"Ireland and New Orleans share a common bond of suffering and loss, and a spirit of endurance and hope in the face of catastrophe" writes: 

Ireland’s Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, has announced that New Orleans – one of the oldest and most prominent cities in the United States – will be the location of the 2014 International Famine Commemoration.
Deenihan said “‘As Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, I am very much looking forward to working with the ‘Irish Network of New Orleans’, the city’s Hibernian groups and the local community to make the arrangements for next year’s International Famine Commemoration programme. I am sure it will be a very special and moving tribute to those who suffered and perished during the Great Irish Famine and also a vibrant celebration of the immense achievements of those who emigrated and their descendants who built new lives in their adopted homes in New Orleans and across the Southern United States’.
“The people of Ireland and New Orleans share a common bond of suffering and loss, and a spirit of endurance and hope in the face of catastrophe. The failure of the potato crop during the 1840s was a transforming event in Ireland, which changed the demographic and cultural landscape forever. Thousands of Irish people emigrated to New Orleans and between 1840 and 1860, New Orleans had a higher per capita Irish population than Boston or Philadelphia.
“The Irish Channel remains the centre of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in New Orleans today.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Irish people extended the same compassion and generosity to the people of New Orleans that our ancestors received during the most desolate period in our nation’s history. Indeed, the Irish Government committed €1 million to disaster relief in the immediate aftermath of the storm. €700,000 was given to the Red Cross for immediate use along the Gulf Coast and €300,000 was given to various community and civil service organisations.”
Further details in relation to the programme for the International Famine Commemoration including the date will be announced over the coming months.
The selection process to determine the site of the 2014 National Famine Commemoration, which is due to be held in Connacht, is currently underway.
Read more: 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Members of the Nineteenth Dáil - Tom Enright

Thomas W. "Tom" Enright (born 26 July 1940) is a former Irish Fine Gael politician.

Enright was born in Shinrone, County Offaly in 1940. He was educated at the Cistercian College, Roscrea, University College Dublin and the Incorporated Law Society of Ireland. He practised as a solicitor before becoming involved in politics in 1967 as a member of Offaly County Council for the Birr Local electoral area. Enright was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for the Laois–Offaly constituency at the 1969 general election. He was subsequently appointed Fine Gael spokesperson on Tourism (1977–1979) and Consumer Affairs (1979–1981).

Enright lost his Dáil seat at the 1992 general election to Pat Gallagher as part of the swing to the Labour Party in that election. He was then elected to the 20th Seanad, where he served from 1993–97. He regained his Dáil seat at the 1997 general election and retired at the 2002 general election. He was succeeded by his daughter Olwyn Enright.

Members of the Nineteenth Dáil - Bernard Cowen

Bernard F. "Ber" Cowen (29 January 1932 – 24 January 1984) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who was elected five times to Dáil Éireann.

Born in Clara, County Offaly, Cowen was the son of Christy Cowen, a cattle dealer and Fianna Fáil member who served on Offaly County Council from 1932 until his death in 1967. Cowen was educated at Clara national school and subsequently attended Tullamore CBS. After completion of his secondary schooling he worked as an auctioneer before later becoming a publican.

Cowen first became involved in politics in 1967 when he was co-opted onto Offaly County Council following the death of his father. Later that year he headed the poll in the Tullamore area and retained his seat until his death.

Cowen was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for Laois–Offaly at the 1969 general election. Fianna Fáil returned to government for the fourth successive time following a general election, however, as a new TD Cowen remained on the backbenches. He lost his seat at the 1973 general election as a Fine Gael-Labour coalition government was formed. Cowen, however, was subsequently elected to the 13th Seanad by the Agricultural Panel.

Cowen returned to the Dáil following the 1977 general election, when Fianna Fáil returned to power in a landslide. Once again he remained on the backbenches.

In 1979, Jack Lynch resigned as Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader. Charles Haughey, who was supported by Cowen, won the subsequent leadership election. In spite of offering his support Cowen failed to secure promotion to ministerial office.

A period of political instability followed with three general elections being held throughout 1981 and 1982. Cowen retained his seat in all of these elections. In March 1982 he was finally promoted to junior ministerial level, when he was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture with special responsibility for disadvantaged areas. He held that position until December of the same year when Fianna Fáil lost power.

While attending a meeting of Offaly County Council in January 1984 Cowen was taken ill. He was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin and died several days later on 24 January 1984. He was survived by his wife, Mary, and three sons. The consequent by-election for his seat in the 24th Dáil was won by his second son, Brian Cowen, who went on to serve as Taoiseach from 2008 to 2011. In 2011, Bernard Cowen's youngest son, Barry Cowen, was elected to the seat previously held by his father and brother, having previously been a Fianna Fáil county councillor for Clara.

Members of the Nineteenth Dáil - Ger Connolly

Gerard C. "Ger" Connolly (born 16 April 1937) is a former Irish Fianna Fáil politician. A farmer and auctioneer, Connolly was first elected to the 19th Dáil as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Laois–Offaly constituency on his first attempt at the 1969 general election and re-elected until retiring at the 1997 general election.

When Charles Haughey became Taoiseach in 1979, Connolly was appointed Minster of State at the Department of the Environment and was re-appointed to the same position during the Haughey Governments of 1982, 1987, and 1989.

He was not appointed a Minster of State under the succeeding Albert Reynolds government and retired in 1997.

Members of the Nineteenth Dáil - Paddy Power

Patrick "Paddy" Power (19 November 1928 – 14 August 2013) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician.

A national schoolteacher before entering politics, he was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for the Kildare constituency at the 1969 general election.

He served as Minister for Fisheries and Forestry from 1979 to June 1981 and Minister for Defence in the government of March to December 1982. He was briefly Minister for Trade, Commerce and Tourism in October 1982 following the resignation of Desmond O'Malley to challenge for the leadership of the party. He was also a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1977 to 1979.

Power retired from politics at the 1989 general election. His son, Seán Power is a former TD and Minister of State. Another son, J. J. Power, served as a Green Party councillor on Kildare County Council. He died on 14 August 2013 in Caragh, County Kildare. He had no connection with the Irish bookmakers of the same name.