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Saturday, March 17, 2012


Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona!

Whew OK,a dear old friend kevin Barry mentioned Larry Kirwan to me today - Larry Kirwan Black 47 right?
Well there was a young Irish girl that worked at Saatchi & Saatchi with my wife Antoinette, must be late 80's when we lived on East 3rd Street in the East Village. Sinead who was a sweetheart from Cobh, used to mention she was in a band with her pal Mary (who possessed a balcony you could do Shakespeare from, if you follow my meaning) from Cork. Apparently they were the backup singers and tambourine bashers and more importantly Mary was keeping an eye on her boyfriend the drummer Tom Hamlin. She never mentioned the band's name until one Friday evening after work we were home relaxing having a few pops and all at once Sinead goes "Oops, I've got a gig, I had forgotten and I can't remember the address!"  Fortunately she recalled that it was to be in a small bar over near to Tompkins Square Park, a few short blocks away and I escorted her over and asked around until we found the correct door. I would see Black 47 occasionally when I stopped into Reilly's on my way back downtown.
One sunny morning a coule of years later I saw yer man Larry Kirwan plodding past our stoop looking much the worse for wear after a long hard night.

Now flash forward to the 21st century and my darling son Sean is living in Dublin and out in a bar having a few pops with his mates. Next to them a few hard looking characters one of which gives Sean the steely eyed stare and asks him who he is and where he's from. The fella hear's Sean's name and asks him where he got it and Sean explains that his oul fella is a New York Irish-American, and what's more drinks solely in Irish bars and puts money in the IRA donation tins.
This sweetens the other fella's complexion considerably and he now laughs & claps Sean on the back, turns around and drops his trousers far enough to reveal an IRA tattoo on his arse. After that, Sean and his mates' drinks were on him.

 Kevin mentioned his ancestors. Yeah BARRY would be from Cork wouldn't it? Like Tom Barry, the great republican, shame he sided with f*cking Dev though.

My oldest brother Jim and his son Brendan started up on the website "Geni" and we've been adding what we can find. Both my grandfathers were Irish and both my grandmothers were German.  My mother's father's name was William Doran and he was a teamster and was with Pershing when they went after Pancho Villa which were the first mechanised units in the US Army.  He went to Cuba next, and then to France where he saw action in the Ardennes and made Lieutenant (wartime). They lived on Grove Street in Greenwich Village when my mother was born and later moved to Brooklyn. Wild Bill Doran died in 1951 so I never got to meet him. Sean shares his same birthdate.

My father's father William Callum I did know. As to his origins or his father's when he died we found letters from his cousin in Armagh from 1921/22 or so. The name must have been McCallum at one time but I could never get a straight answer out of anyone on it. He worked for Otis elevator and had hands like hams, which he passed along to my father, and to me and to Sean.

As to Parnell, Kevin my friend, yes a great man, but who underestimated his own people's hypocrisy, and their conservative views and ways, which by the way, haven't changed all too much over the decades in my humble experience.
Those who think Parnell blew some terrific chance to change Ireland's course peacefully forget one important factor: The British would NEVER, ever ever, allow Ireland a peaceful, political separation, never. It was always going to take arms, and struggle and death, so it is with them and so it always was. I offer in proof the Malvinas, that story isn't finished yet, they've found oil there.  Ireland is where they began their empire, where they practised all that they ever did later around the globe- Jamaica, India, Kenya, China...