Recently in Irish America Category

Op-Ed Contributor
"Well, the heart's a wonder," says Pegeen Mike in John Millington Synge's comedy "The Playboy of the Western World." It was a sentiment first articulated by Patrick's converts, who put down their weapons and took up their pens. They copied out the great Greco-Roman books, many of which they didn't really understand, thus saving in its purest form most of the classical library.



Brian Cronin


No doubt, several reasons could be proffered. But for me one answer stands out. Long, long ago the Irish pulled off a remarkable feat: They saved the books of the Western world and left them as gifts for all humanity.

True enough, the Irish were unlikely candidates for the job. Upon their entrance into Western history in the fifth century, they were the most barbaric of barbarians, practitioners of human sacrifice, cattle rustlers, traders in human beings (the children they captured along the Atlantic edge of Europe), insane warriors who entered battle stark naked. And yet it was the Irish who were around to pick up the pieces when the Roman Empire collapsed in the West under the increasing assaults of Germanic tribes.

more after the jump

How Many "Greats" in Obama's Irish Grandfather?

President Barack Obama walks with Ireland's Prime Minister Brian Cowen and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., after a Friends of Ireland luncheon for St. Patrick's Day, on Capitol Hill, March 17, 2010.

(Credit: AP)

Updated 8:45 p.m. ET

It's genealogy be damned on St. Patrick's Day - even at the White House. Every president claims to have at least a small branch of his family tree than can be traced to Ireland.

Again this year, President Obama trumpeted his bit of Irish blood from his mother's side, though he added a couple of "greats" to his description.

"I believe it was my great-great-great-great-great grandfather," he said at Speaker Pelosi's Friends of Ireland Luncheon today in the Capitol.

But that's two "greats" more than the far-removed Irish relative he referred to on St. Patrick's Day a year ago as "my great-great-great grandfather."


St. Patrick's Day With the Irish and the Jews

mic_moloney.jpegAboveMick Maloney's new album recreates music from the nearly forgotten era
 of collaboration between Jewish and Irish songwriters in pre-World War New York

By Sarah Litvin, The Forward


The first time Mick Moloney visited America, he fell in love with a library. "God almighty!" Moloney said when remembering it in a 1993 interview with Steve Winick of Dirty Linen magazine. "I couldn't leave it. I used to stay up all night reading these books." The library belonged to Kenny Goldstein, then chair of the University of Pennsylvania Folklore and Folklife Department. After enticing Moloney back to the States in 1972 to enroll in the University of Pennsylvania's folklore program, Goldstein served as Moloney's mentor, advocate, and friend, guiding him to international acclaim as a folklorist and musician. Thirty-six years after meeting Goldstein, Moloney noticed a trend: ?
Nearly all the significant partnerships I've had with people professionally have been with Jewish people."
Now read on after the jump


THE UNOFFICIAL EMBASSY OF IRELAND'S GUIDE TO DIPLOMACY



After a month in Kosovo, the Unofficial Embassy has shut up shop and moved home. The money ran dry and the gig was up. The ambassadors said ciao to the newest country in the world with moist eyes and trembling lips. We had enough laughs for a lifetime but we also learned some valuable lessons about diplomacy that we'd like to share with the rest of you not fortunate enough to have had your own embassy.

Lndon_bound.jpgby Peggy Hernon

The wind blew me in the door of Inis Mór Airport this Saturday morning, a cold east wind that sprayed fine sand in ahead of me and fluttered the notices on the bulletin board. It feels like it's been January since 1962 and the wind has been blowing even longer. Coming to work this morning through a dim, windswept landscape, it struck me the island could be a location for a science fiction movie set either in the distant past or the distant future- so old it's new. That, however, does not apply to Inis Mor Airport which is just old. And draughty. And full of ooky little corners that fill up with piles of fine sand when the wind is from the east. The crewmen were already at them with brooms. 

Peggy Hernon has written a wonderful collection of short stories chronicling her experience working with Aer Arann Islands and life in Connemara. Pggy is a member of the Ground Operations staff at Inis Mor Airport. She was born in the Bronx in New York, attended NYU and worked on Wall street for 18 years. She moved  to Inis Mor in 1990 where she married Micheal Hernon, Inis Mor Airport Manager and has been living on the island ever since.



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

On the Bow'ry, in search of Tammany Hall

104-106 Bowery - NYTimes.png

Dan Barry,one of the best writers on the New York Times has written elegantly about visiting Co Galway and his own Irish roots. In today's Times, he delves into the extraordinary history of a New York flophouse to tell the story of George, its final resident. 
The hotel's history, murders, prostitutes, con men, the lot, is closely entwined with Irish-run Tammany Hall. 
It starts with one Frederick F. Fleck: city alderman, bail bondsman and self-important member of the court to the Bowery king himself, Timothy D. Sullivan -- "Big Tim" -- a Tammany Hall leader said to control all votes and vice south of 14th Street......

Searching for George on the Bowery: Audio book
Read the full piece here
Does the Real Ireland still exist? Read Dan Barry in Co Galway


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tragedy as Galway hooker sailor drowned

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Crinniu na mbad.jpg

HEROIC EFFORTS by the crew of a Galway hooker to save two brothers whose boat had capsized were praised by a priest at the funeral of a renowned Connemara sailor yesterday.

Fr Peadar Ó Conghaile told hundreds of mourners, who filled not just the church but also the grounds of St Mary's Church in Carna, that the four crewmen should get medals for bravery.

Seán Mac Donncha (67), known locally as Johnny Sheáin Jeaic, lost his life in the accident on Saturday morning as he and his younger brother Josie, went to take their traditional Galway hooker McHugh from Kinvara in the south of the bay to a regatta in Rossaveal. The boat capsized shortly after leaving Kinvara.

Mourners were yesterday told how the crew of Bláth na hÓige , which also left from Kinvara, came to their aid. The four men, Gearóid Ó Cualáin, Máirtín Ó Conghaile, Aonghus Ó Cualáin and Máirtín Ó Ceoinín, managed to rescue Josie but they were unable to save his brother.

"These men, especially Gearóid Ó Cualáin, risked their lives to save others," said Fr Ó Conghaile. The Carna parish priest said that, as in so many other coastal villages, loss at sea was all too frequent. Hundreds of mourners brought the small south Connemara village to a standstill.

St Mary's was packed from early morning and the mourners extended out on to the main road in the village.

They had travelled from the three nearby Aran Islands, Inishbofin and other offshore islands, as well as coastal communities from Cork to Donegal. Others had travelled from the United States where wider family members reside.

"We are all too familiar with loss at sea in these parts, yet there was enormous shock when the news came through on Saturday morning," Fr Ó Conghaile said.

"Johnny was a man who was renowned and respected as a man of the sea, a lover of the Irish language and Irish culture, and a great singer. He is an enormous loss to the community."

Mr Mac Donncha, from Ard West, Carna, is survived by his wife Barbara, daughters Kathy, Maureen, Roisín and Fiona, and son Seán. He was buried in Moyrus cemetery outside Carna.

No secret now as Spielberg's cover blown in Ireland!

Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw in secret vacation in Ireland
Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw in secret vacation in Ireland

Hollywood director Steven Spielberg has been on a secret summer vacation in Ireland.

Spielberg, along with his wife, actress Kate Capshaw, and their teenage son have criss-crossed the country from the windswept Aran Islands to the Burren to plush Rathmines in Dublin.

They stayed at Ballyvaughan country holiday homes in the Burren before moving to the east coast.

Officials have dampened down rumors that the Oscar-winning director is scouting the country for a movie location.

A spokeswoman for The Irish, Film and Television Network said: "As far as we are aware Steven Spielberg is not working on a film in Ireland at the moment."

Just last month, Spielberg and Capshaw did a "pilgrimage" walk in Ireland which included poetry, spiritualism and walking on Inis Mor and trips in County Clare.

There were concerns over Spielberg's fitness as he had to use an electric bicycle to climb the hilltop ruins at Dun Aonghas on Inis Mor.

read more 


Thanks IrishCentral.Com for the breathless report, but course readers of Aran-Isles.com already knew about Spielberg's trip from our earlier reporting. Spielberg-is-spellbound-by-aran

Robert Flaherty - A Boatload of Wild Irishmen

Robert Flaherty Feature Doc to Begin Post Production


31 Jul 2009 |


Robert Flaherty
Editing will begin shortly on 'A Boatload of Wild Irishmen', a feature length documentary on Robert Flaherty, who became one of documentary cinema's most influential figures directing and producing the 1922 feature length film 'Nanook of the North'.

Written by Brian Winston, an Emmy award-winning documentary script-writer, 'A Boatload of Wild Irishmen' is being produced/directed and shot by Mac Dara Ó Curraidhín. The actor (and Aran Islander) Macdara Ó Fátharta will narrate the Irish language version of the film. An English language version for international distribution may be produced at a later time.

The documentary will explain the importance of Robert Flaherty, over the dramatic footage he took of a currach caught in a monstrous sea (from Man of Aran, 1934). He was the first to see that film of the every day life of 'real' people could be moulded into dramatic, entertaining narratives: but, by the same token, he is also the father of manipulation and distortion as well as being a bridge whereby stereotypes of exotic peoples (including Aran Islanders of the 1930s) became part of cinema.

The prime-source of imagery for the documentary will be the Flaherty film archive including 'Nanook of the North', 'Moana; The Pottery Maker' (1925); 'The 24 Dollar Island' (1926/7) and 'Man of Aran'.

This will be augmented by contemporary photography of various locations in Ireland, England, the USA, Canada and Samoa; his stills; other archival materials including 'Man of Aran: How the Myth was Filmed' and interviews with Mrs Frances Flaherty, Colman 'Tiger' King (recorded by Breandán Ó hÉithir in England in the 1970s) and Portrait of Robert Flaherty (a BBC radio documentary of 1952 with interviews with Flaherty, among others).

Editing will take place over the next six to eight weeks in Lincon, UK, and will be overseen by David Sleitht.

The film was funded by the BCI, TG4, the Irish Film Board, EM Media (U.K.), and MEDIA Europa.

Solas Nua

 Solas Nua is a non-profit arts organization seeking  to support both feted and unknown work by contemporary artists in Ireland to promote awareness of modern Irish culture in Washington D.C.
 Solas Nua is the only organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to contemporary Irish arts. www.solasnua.org 



Aer Arann's very own Peggy Hernon has written a collection of short stories chronicling her experience working with Aer Arann Islands and life in Connemara. Peggy's colourful and descriptive style is sure to draw you in.
Peggy is a member of the Ground Operations staff at Inis Mor Airport. She was born in the Bronx in New York, attended NYU and worked on Wall street for 18 years. She moved over to Inis Mor in 1990 where she married Micheal Hernon, Inis Mor Airport Manager and has been living on the island ever since.
Below is a collection of some of her short stories of life on The Islands. We hope you like them!

Peggy's short stories

Thumbnail image for Puffin1.jpg
The Aran Islands lie eight miles into the Atlantic ocean, off the West Coast of Ireland, one the last remaining wild and natural environments in Europe.
To contact us please: Email here,
We're pretty busy so you can also keep up on Flickr as well as Twitter and our Facebook page.
Scattered  between sea and sky Seamus Heaney describes the  Islands as "three stepping stones out of Europe".  The island population is about 1,000 peopel most of whom converse in the Irish language. Almost a million visitors come here every year. Most go to Inis Mor, a lot go to Inis Oirr and very few go to Inis Meain. Thats why we think of it as the real Hidden Ireland.
All three islands teem with wildflowers and birdlife and are also considered by many to be the last bastions of ancient Irish culture.
Celtic Music Workshops and Lessons in Tucson For those musicians in the Tucson area, mark your calendars for August 26 an 27.  (For the Aran connection, read on....)
That's when you'll have the opportunity to take private lessons and/or workshops with the internationally renowned, award-winning musicians who make up the groups Cara and 2duos. The bands are performing on Saturday August 29, at the Temple of Music and Art (for ticket information, see www.inconcerttucson.com). The bands are arriving in town early and will be available to teach private lessons and workshops on Wednesday August 26 and Thursday August 27. Private lessons are $40/hr and workshops are $30 each. For more information, or to register, contact me at melissaltatum AT yahoo DOT com. Please note these are not beginner workshops - students are expected to provide their own instruments and know how to play them. Whistles should be in the key of D. Wednesday Aug 26 (Cara only): Private lessons available from 10am - 12:00noon and from 2:00-4:00pm on bodhran, fiddle, guitar, flute & whistle Thursday Aug 27 (Cara + 2duos): private lessons and workshops Private lessons available from 10am - 9pm on bodhran, fiddle, guitar, bouzouki, vocals, flute & whistle Thursday workshop schedule (note: for fiddle, flute, guitar,and whistle, two teachers are available and the workshops will be divided into two skill levels where necessary) 4:30-5:45pm fiddle 4:30-5:45pm flute 6:00-7:15pm guitar 6:00-7:15pm bodhran 7:30-8:45 pm whistle All events will be held at Rountree Hall on The University of Arizona campus. Band biographies: CARA tour world wide with their unique interpretation of Celtic music. They are rooted in traditional music and song, but their own exciting compositions have received wide critical acclaim. While the two female lead singers are surely a hallmark of the band, the quality standard for instrumentals and arrangements is equally high. Cara combine their mastery of vocals, piano, fiddle, flute, guitar, bodhrán, uilleann pipes, accordion and concertina with a dry-witted and very entertaining stage presence. For more about CARA, check out the band's websites at www.cara-music.com/english/ and www.myspace.com/caralive 2duos consists of four well renowned and successful musicians from Europe - two from Scotland and two from Germany - all with a passion for Irish, Scottish and German folk music. Demonstrating that the musical culture and heritage of their home countries does indeed have lots in common, 2duos have been wowing both audiences and critics alike with their unique blend of German, Irish and Scottish tunes since their formation in December 2006. For more about 2duos, check out their websites at www.2duos.com/ and www.myspace.com/2duos Instructor biographies: Patricia Clark is studying for a BA in Irish music and Dance at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in Limerick. She taught at numerous festivals around Europe like Cambridge Folk Festival and Sidmouth Folk Week in the UK, Le Bono in France and many more. She also is a sought after teacher for masterclasses by musicians visiting Ireland. Toured with several international artists such as Altan, At First Light, Gráda and The Outside Track. Patricia plays fiddle and piano Aaron Jones was voted 'Instrumentalist of the Year' at the Scots Trad Music Awards 2005 and is also a member of award winning Scottish band 'Old Blind Dogs' - winners of 'Folk Band of the Year' at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2004 and 2007. He is in great demand as both an accompanist and a singer and continues to work with some of the biggest names in traditional music. He is also a founding partner in traditional music resource www.tradmusic.com, which launched in 2002. As well being a Committee Member for the Musicians Union of Scotland and Northern Ireland he is also an official accompanist at the prestigious BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Awards. Aaron sings and plays bouzouki and guitar. Claire Mann has established herself as one of the leading performers and teachers of traditional Irish fiddle and flute. She has toured extensively worldwide with bands Tabache, Croabh Rua, The New Shoes, Tom McConville and Christy O'Leary and is also a tutor of traditional music on the renowned RSAMD and Newcastle University folk degree courses. Claire sings and plays flute, fiddle, and whistle. Claus Steinort started playing the Irish Flute in 1989. He has been touring and recording with several bands, including Dereelium, Steampacket and Cara. Claus has spent a lot of time in Ireland in the 90s, including a semester in Dublin, where he studied applied languages. Claus has a diploma degree in applied languages (technical translation). He has taught Irish flute playing since 1996 at various occasions, mainly for the Uilleann Pipes Society of Germany, at Wimborne Folk Festival (UK) and various Folk Weeks across Germany. He also started playing the Uilleann Pipes in 2004 and is a master of ornamentation and interpreting a tune. He also plays and teaches tin whistle. Juergen Treyz was classically trained on the piano and graduated in Jazz Guitar at the MGI Munich. He also got involved with medieval music as well as folk music from all over Europe. He combines his knowledge of harmonic structure with a sure taste in styles and is one of the most distinctive guitar players and arrangers in Celtic Music today. He also works as a composer for audio books, TV series, theatre plays and movies. He runs his own recording studio named artes Musikproduktion and produced a vast amount of CDs, both with his own music and as a producer for various bands. Rolf Wagels started playing bodhrán in 1993 and was rated among the best bodhrán players of continental europe. He teaches all over Germany and is a member of the highly praised trad irish bands Cara, DeReelium and Steampacket. In June 2005, he was the first non-irish teacher at the renowned Bodhrán Summerschool "Craiceann" on Inis Oirr (Aran Islands) and was asked to return every year since. His style is a mixture of traditional pulse orientated playing and the more extroverted top end style. Webpage: http://www.bodhran-info.com and http://www.myspace.com/rolfwagels Gudrun Walther was classically trained on the fiddle, but picked up folk music also from a very young age and combines the two styles in her fiddling. She studied in master classes with many internationally known fiddlers from Ireland, France, Germany and Scandinavia, and makes her living as a touring musician since 14 years. Gudrun is also a popular teacher for fiddle as well as for ensemble playing and arranging.

Mental Health break

Try Blowing on it:
This cartoon, from Alex Gregory at "The New Yorker" (May 11, 2009), is a pause for fresh air. windturbines.jpg

To a Connemara Bog, part II

The engineers also faired over the observer's cockpit at the front of the fuselage, and enlarged the pilot's cockpit to allow Alcock and Brown to sit side-by-side. The Vimy was then disassembled and crated, to be shipped across the Atlantic to Newfoundland. (The attempt would start from there because the prevailing winds blew from West to East, making a crossing in that direction easier and needing less fuel.)




On arrival in Newfoundland, the aircraft was reassembled at Lesters Field. The photographs below show various stages in the process, which took 14 days.








While this was being done, the field was being prepared for take-off. A surviving receipt from one Charles F. Lester to Captain Alcock shows a total charge of $1,345.10 for the work, including 2,079 hours of labor at 40c per hour and 330 hours at 25c per hour! It's interesting to compare those figures to today's minimum-wage legislation - they're not far off, in terms of relative value.

The field was still very rough, and Brown wasn't sure that the heavily-laden Vimy could take off successfully. In an attempt to save weight and reduce rolling resistance, he removed a nose-wheel that had been attached to the front skid. This was to have interesting consequences on the other side of the Atlantic.

Alcock had a stroke of luck during the reassembly process. The Handley-Page team (see above) were having trouble with what they thought was a defective radiator, which kept clogging. Alcock realized that the real problem was not the radiator, but the local water, which was heavily mineralized and carried a great deal of sediment. He promptly arranged that the water to be used in the cooling system of the Vimy's engines would be filtered several times, then boiled. This removed the sediment and minerals from it. The Handley-Page team were still waiting for their new radiator when Alcock and Brown took off!

The preparations for the flight were marred by poor weather. There was no hangar to protect the Vimy from the elements, and curious sight-seers tried to take pieces of the aircraft as souvenirs. This was not very helpful. The ground crew had to mount constant guard over it, sheltering from the rain and bitter cold in the packing-crates in which it had arrived.

The aircraft was finally ready. Locals gathered around for this photograph before departure on June 14th, 1919. It bears Brown's signature.




Alcock and Brown got into their flying suits. They are shown here before departure.




The Vimy took off on its long journey at 1.45 p.m. local time.




Alcock and Brown carried a radio transmitter, and were supposed to radio their position regularly: but this malfunctioned three hours into the flight. For hours there was uncertainty as to whether or not they were safe, as this New York Times headline shows.




During the flight, engine and wind noise make it almost impossible for Alcock and Brown to hear one another speak. Brown communicated navigation information to Alcock by writing it in his notebook, then showing the page to the pilot (using his flashlight at night to illuminate the page). An example of one such message in his notebook is shown below.




The flight was long, arduous and very hazardous. After a few hours, fog appeared, and they had no choice but to fly into it. The fog was so thick that they couldn't even see their engines, and their sound was muffled. Alcock had no modern blind-flying instruments, as can be seen in this photograph of the Vimy's cockpit.




Alcock had to fly as straight and level as possible, hoping for a patch of clear visibility now and then so that Brown could check their position. None appeared for some time. As darkness fell, the inner exhaust pipe of the right-hand engine split, spitting flames into the slipstream. To make matters worse, the batteries powering the electric heating elements in their flying suits ran down. Alcock later remarked that they "froze like young puppies", even more so because they could not move about in the cramped cockpit.

Alcock tried to climb above the fog to enable Brown to get a sun-sight, but they found cloud above the fog. Entering a thick fog-bank, the plane dropped in a spiral almost to the surface of the sea before Alcock could regain control and climb once more. The fliers refreshed themselves with sandwiches, beer and whisky. At last Brown was able to get a shot of the setting sun, right behind them, so that they were reasonably confident that they were on course. They flew on into the night.

Shortly after midnight Brown was able to get a few star sights, fixing their position again. They had covered 850 nautical miles, and had just over 1,000 still to go. They ate more sandwiches, and drank coffee laced with whisky. Alcock later commented, "I looked towards Brown, and saw that he was singing, but I couldn't understand a word." One presumes the singing was the result of high spirits, rather than the liquid variety!

At about 3 a.m. they hit heavy weather once more, with thick cloud. The Vimy went out of control, falling towards the sea in a vertical dive. Alcock only just managed to level out before they hit the water. He commented, "The salty taste we noted later on our tongues was foam. In any case the altimeter wasn't working at that low height and I think that we were not more than 16 to 20 ft. above the water."

Snow began to fall, building up on the wings and fuselage, and ice began to form on the engines, blocking the air intakes and carburetor air filters. According to Brown's later accounts, he made several trips out onto the wings to clear the ice and snow away from the engines. However, others have disputed this, noting that Brown never wrote of such efforts in his hourly log entries, and pointing out that he had a badly injured, partly crippled leg which would have made such movements all but impossible. Since Alcock died soon after the flight, there was no evidence to support or contradict Brown's subsequent claims. The controversy has continued to this day.

Icing continued to bedevil them through the night. Daylight came at 6.20 a.m., by which time the lateral controls had iced solid. Alcock tried to take the Vimy higher, to allow Brown to get a sun sight and fix their position. At 7.20 a.m., at a height of 11,800 feet, he was able to do so, and reported that they were on course. However, it was imperative that they find warmer air to prevent the controls from freezing. Alcock took the Vimy down into the clouds once more. At 1,000 feet, the warmer air melted the ice, making flying easier.

At about 8 a.m. they sighted Ireland, coming in over the town of Clifden near Connemara. They circled the local radio station, with an inviting green meadow nearby. They saw people waving from the radio station, which they thought was a welcome. In reality the waves were an attempt to warn them that the 'meadow' was not a meadow at all, but Derrygimla Bog, far too soft for them to land: but the fliers could not know this.

Alcock brought the Vimy down on the bog at 8.40 a.m. It ran for only a short distance before the front skid (minus its wheel, which Brown had removed in Newfoundland) dug into the bog and flipped the aircraft onto its nose, breaking the lower wings and damaging the front of the fuselage. Brown reportedly turned to Alcock and asked, "What do you think of that for fancy navigating?" Alcock replied, "Very good!", and the two shook hands.






Alcock and Brown became instant heroes. They traveled to England (not in their Vimy, which was retrieved from the bog and repaired), and arrived at the Royal Aero Club in London. There they delivered to General Holden, vice-president of the Club, 197 letters entrusted to them by Dr. Robinson, the Postmaster in Newfoundland. They carried stamps overprinted in Newfoundland to indicate that they were being delivered by air. The letters were rushed to the nearest Post Office, franked and forwarded. Those stamps and covers are today amongst the most valuable philatelic collectors' items, being the first trans-Atlantic air mail. (They're also among the most forged - fakes are rife.)




Alcock and Brown were knighted by His Majesty George V, and received the £10,000 Daily Mail prize, presented to them by the then Secretary of State for War and Air, Winston Churchill.




They also received a prize of 2,000 guineas (equal to £2,100) from the Ardath Tobacco Company, and another of £1,000 from Lawrence R. Phillips for being the first British subjects to fly the Atlantic. They gave £2,000 of their prize money to the Vickers and Rolls-Royce mechanics who had helped to prepare the Vimy for the flight.

Their Vimy aircraft was repaired by Vickers, and donated to the Science Museum in London later that same year. It has been on display there ever since.




One of the original propellers was not returned, however. It is today used as a ceiling fan in Luigi Malone's Restaurant in Cork City, Ireland.

Sir Arthur Brown married soon after the flight, and he and his wife left for the USA on honeymoon. Sir John Alcock did not long survive the flight. He was killed in an aircraft accident at Cottevrard, France, on December 18th, 1919, and was buried in England.




Brown never flew again. He survived World War II, dying in 1948 in Swansea, Wales.

Alcock and Brown inspired those who followed them. Charles Lindbergh, who made the first solo crossing of the Atlantic from New York to Paris in 1927, said when he landed in Paris, "Alcock and Brown showed me the way." Sadly, in the USA, they are almost unknown today. Many Americans assume (or are misinformed) that Lindbergh was the first to fly non-stop across the Atlantic. He certainly made the first solo crossing, and the first between New York and Paris, but not the first non-stop Atlantic crossing.

Alcock's and Brown's flight was re-enacted in 2005, when the late Steve Fossett and Mark Rebholz flew a replica Vickers Vimy from Newfoundland to Ireland.




It was the third and last of the great Vimy historical flights to be re-enacted by this replica aircraft. Further details may be found on the Vimy.org Web site.

The video clip below shows the replica Vimy in flight earlier this year. If it seems slow to you, remember that the Vimy's top speed was only 100 mph - no faster than many cars on our roads today, and slower than quite a few of them!

Recent Entries

From Labrador to a Connemara Bog...
By Lorna Siggins and Jem CaseySOME NINE decades after the British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown flew across…
Senator Dodd's Dodgy Connemara cottage in the spotlight...
"The Senator Sure Knows How to Pick an Investment." say his enemies at the Wall Street JournalEditorialIrish property prices…
Obama's Kennedy-esque Popularity in Ireland
Marching alongside the Irish tricolour in Clifden's St Patrick's Day parade were no less than three Irishmen wearing signboards…
Erin Go Broke
By Paul Krugman of the New York Times"What," asked my interlocutor, "is the worst-case outlook for the world economy?" It…
The go-to guy for Irish accents
Speaking SyngeStephen Gabis comes across like speech therapy. That's because Mr. Gabis is a go-to dialect coach whose craft can…
Tenement Museum Reflects New York Irish Immigration
A wake was probably held on April 21, 1869, in a cramped walk-up at 97 Orchard Street. A 5-month-old girl,…
Inishmaan revival brings Irish cast to New York stage
Over a decade after its original London premiere, Martin McDonagh's dark comedy stage play The Cripple of Inishmaan comes…
Ellis Island's first immigrant honoured
LUCY KENNEDY in New YorkFOR 84 years, the body of Annie Moore lay in in an unmarked grave in the…
mini-Synge fest from coast to coast
Members of the Irish theater companyDruid perform two John MillingtonSynge plays as part of the Cal Perf-ormances season in…
N.Ireland peacemaker Mitchell endorses Obama
 Retired US senator George Mitchell, who steered the tough negotiations that led to lasting peace in Northern Ireland, threw his…
Obama supports independent inquiry into murder of Irish solicitor
    US presidential candidate Barack Obama has backed calls for an inquiry into the murder of Northern Ireland…
Obama's Irish relatives in southern Ohio endure racist jibes
SEVENTY TWO YEAR OLD Roger Kearney of Troy, Ohio stopped joking about his humble roots when he read an…