Our Staff

John O'Brien
Publisher / Editor

Inner View: OhioIANews CoFounder, Publisher and Editor John O’Brien, Jr.
By Bob Carney

OhioIANews: Most of us are aware of some of the things that you are involved with in Cleveland's Irish community, but how did you get started?

JOBJr: I grew up in a house immersed in Irish culture. My dad is from Atteagh Mills, near Athlone, in the Co Roscommon. My mom is from Montreal, with her folks from Skerries, in Dublin. Dad has been President of the West Side Irish American Club for 20 years, and we spent a great deal of time at the club on 93rd& Madison and the “new” club in Olmsted Twp, which opened in 1990, growing up, literally and symbolically there. 
I also grew up with Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival, that dad and a group of friends started in 1982, when I was 16. We will celebrate our 35thAnnual July 21-23, 2017, at the Berea Fairgrounds. 
When I was young, we often woke up to many bands and Irish visitors that dad had brought home from a dance at the IA or a Gaelic Football game. The people and the stories stay with me.

OhioIANews: January 2017 marked the 10th anniversary of the OhioIANews. What prompted you to undertake the commitment in putting out a monthly publication?

JOBJr: I had written on and off for a while, a few memorials and such, but I was not writing broadly with a purpose. I had broken my back and was out of work for a while recuperating. I was a banker then.  To make money, I started writing. 
My first book [John has 4, with a 5thon the way], a biographical work on Irish Music legends, is titled Festival Legends: Songs & Stories.  I was signing copies at the Milwaukee Irish Fest, then went on tour with the book. The mighty Shay Clarke in Chicago took me around Chicago and introducing me and my book to Irish import storeowners.  We were driving down I65 and Shay, as is his wont, stopped talking mid-sentence, made a phone call and said, “Cliff, I know you wanted to start a paper in Ohio, I have your man.” And handed me the phone. I didn’t know Cliff Carlson.

We met a month later, in October, and the first issue appeared January 2, 2007. Since the beginning, Cliff, who also publishes the Chicagoland Irish American News and is founder and director of Irish Books, Arts and Music (iBAM) showcase, has been a huge mentor, supporter, and friend.

OhioIANews: The work and the deadlines, the publication process, and the delivery require an extraordinary amount of time and perseverance on your part, what makes it worth the effort?

JOBJr: I am fortunate to be very deadline oriented already, which helps me to keep going forward. Most Columnists write on a theme. On the 1stof the month, the rest let me know what they are going to write about next month, so I can shield for duplication.  The columns all arrive by (usually ON) the 10thof the month. I organize them, edit them and seek advertisers, sending everything to our layout artist on the 15th
We go thru 3 proofs, then go to print by the 22nd.  It is delivered to Scene Magazine the following Tuesday, and they deliver it to 230 sites all over Cleveland on the first or last Wednesday of the month, depending on where that falls. The rest of Ohio and the other 5 states that we are in, as well as the subscriptions, go via mail.

You never really know how many are reading it, and most importantly, are impacted by it, but marketing studies say we have 24,000 readers per month between the print edition and the online archives. I get a LOT of comments in person, and a few emails.  Our 16 columnists do too, and share them with me.  Every once in a while, I get stopped in my tracks by someone who tells me what an impact a story or the paper has had on them. That is very sweet. The success of the paper has allowed us to help organizations, to the tune of about $18,000 per year. THAT matters to me.

OhioIANews: You and your family put on Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival, you're an author and a poet, a proponent of the Irish language in Cleveland and you seem to be at most Irish events going on in the Cleveland area; do you ever sleep?

JOBJr: I am blessed, but not in the sleep department. 2-3 hours per night keeps me functioning.

OhioIANews: What would you like to see in the future for the OHIOAN and Cleveland's Irish community?

JOBJr: Our tagline is “We bring you the Irish movers, shakers and music makers each month”, and “Where ever the Ohio Irish gather, there is the Ohio Irish American News”. I would be at those events if there were no paper; I love the camaraderie, love meeting new people and sharing auld stories, and especially, songs. 
We started at 16 pages, and are now consistently at least 24 pages, often 28 pages, up to 40.  Preserving, presenting and promoting the Irish culture is ingrained in me, and gives me great joy and great opportunities. I want to go from Success, to significance. 

For the content, I would like to add more humor, finding good writers who can meet deadlines is a challenge.  Your columns: Inner View, Cleveland Comhra, and Speak Irish, all arrive in my inbox near the first or 2ndof the month, for the following month.  Though due BY the 10th, most others arrive on the 10th, or 11th! Then they have to be edited, go through layout, proof etc ...  
We are always accepting submissions as we seek writers who are a great fit for the OhioIANews. I would like to have more time to be more creative with the paper, help more people.  I am searching for a salesperson to help, but even in a tough employment market, driven sales people are hard to find.

My day job as spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office does not allow me to get involved in the political process or commentary, but I hope to some day – The Irish always have been involved in politics, and have much to say. They wield an enormous amount of political power, that is not harnessed for good often enough. We can and should be a force for good in the world, and have the numbers and civic-minded smarts to do so.

For the Cleveland Irish community:  My generation is, for the most part, the last First Generation, the last generation whose parents are from Ireland. There are a few new Irish in Cleveland, but not even a blip compared to New York, Boston etc., or that came here a generation ago, and before.  I am hell-bent on showing the Irish in Ireland and across the Diaspora, what a great community, and great opportunities we have for the Irish, and all immigrants, here in Cleveland. 

1.4 million people of Irish descent on Ohio, 450,000 in Greater Cleveland, 176,000 in Cuyahoga County have open arms and a strong pay it forward belief system to help those in or coming to our community to “make it”; the fostering the Irish in America and across the Diaspora have survived by, for more than 800 years.

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Lisa O'Rourke
Akron Irish Columnist

Akron Irish Columnist Lisa O’Rourke

I enjoy doing these profiles of the people who are columnists for the Ohio Irish American News. Everyone I’ve spoken to, I’ve felt a special kinship to. All have a passion for Irish culture and history, and all have been very helpful in these interviews, even though most would rather focus on the history or the writing, rather than themselves. This is especially true of Lisa O’Rourke.

Lisa was born and raised in Akron. She attended Kent State and received degrees in English and Elementary Education. She also has a Master’s in Elementary Education and Administration.

OhIANews: Lisa you lived abroad for a time, when was that?

Lisa: I met my husband, Dónal, in New York City in 1989. We went to Ireland at that time. Eventually, we moved to London. We were married there and stayed there for three years. During that time, I worked as a teacher and our son Danny was born. We decided to go back to Ireland, and lived in Moycullen in Co. Galway for a year. Our second son, Liam, was born there.

OhIANews:You and your family moved back to Akron, what do you do there?

Lisa: I’m a proud employee of Akron Public Schools. I taught first grade for over ten years and now work with teachers to help them maintain their licensure and to find professional development. I got involved with the Irish Language group in Akron and have continued that at the Hibernian Club in Akron. My family travel to Ireland almost every summer to visit family and friends.My other hobbies are painting, reading and listening to music.

OhIANews: How did you get involved with the OhIAN?

Lisa: I came to the paper through a personal recommendation from Mike McKenzie of the Mark Heffernan Ancient Order of Hibernians in Akron. My first column appeared in the August 2014 edition.

OhIANews: Lisa and I spoke at some length on the phone, doing this interview. We have a shared enthusiasm for the Irish Language and spoke mostly about Gaeilge, and different ways of making our resepective classes enjoyable. Lisa’s next group of lessons will start at the Hibernian Club on September 28. The lessons are from 6:30 to 8pm on Wednesdays in the Hall and run for ten weeks. Anyone interested should contact Lisa via phone (330-836-2887) or e-mail olisa07@me.comprior to that date.

Conor Makem
An Eejit Abroad Columnist

 

Regina Costello
Columnist: At Home Abroad

*Regina is a Graduate of History and Philosophy from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Post Graduate of Library and Information Studies from the National University of Ireland, Dublin.  She is the former Assistant Librarian of the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin; former Curator of the Irish American Archives at the Western Reserve Historical Society, former Executive Director of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument Commission and former Executive Coordinator of the Northern Ohio Rose Centre.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland. She can be reached at rcostello@ameritech.net

Sue Mangan
Columnist: Blowin' In

“Blowin’ In” Columnist Susan Mangan

Susan was born in Chicago, Illinois, and holds a Master’s degree in English from John Carroll University and a Master’s degree in education from Baldwin-Wallace University. Her column gives her perspective on an Italian girl who married an Irish American, and became immersed in the Irish culture and ways.  A “Blow-in” is an Irish term for a person new to the neighborhood.

OhIANews: Susan, I love to ask writers and English majors who their favorite writers’ are, who are yours?

Susan: William Butler Yeats is my favorite poet.  “ When You Are Old” is my favorite poem, and “The Dead”, by James Joyce is the most poignant of the many short stories I’ve read. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to all my favorite literary hotspots in the United States, England and Ireland.

OhIANews: Childhood memories play a large part in your writing, can you tell us a little about growing up?

Susan: As a child, I always had what my mother called an “overactive imagination.” Growing up in the city, I loved the museums, beaches, and the many festivals that Chicago offered. Fortunately for me, I was also able to indulge my love of nature as my mother grew up on a farm in Billings, Missouri.

Every year we would visit my grandmother, uncles, aunts and cousins. I was happiest helping on the farm. My grandmother Mim passed at one hundred and two. She was a great reader, world traveler, and a gifted teacher. As I grew older, we discovered our shared interest in antiques, literature, and quiet time. When my first child was born, she encouraged me to “set that child in her pumpkin seat and get on with your writing!” Well over the years I’ve spent more time rearing children than writing the next great American novel, but that feat is still on my to do list.

OhIANews:  What else inspires your writing?

Susan:  Upon meeting my husband, Ireland, her rolling hills, imposing mountains, and sweet streams also proved inspirational to my writing. Moreover, I value the kindness and hospitality of my husband’s family.

OhIANews: What do you do when you’re not writing for the Ohio Irish American News?

Susan:  Currently, I’m a private tutor helping students to become better readers and writers. I also teach creative writing at Bay Arts in Bay Village, Ohio. I also have a cottage baking business; “Rosa- Peasant Cookies with Style”.

I’m very grateful to John O’Brien, Jr. for providing me the opportunity to write for the OhIANews: for the past nine years. In the future, I would like to publish my series of Christmas stories that I’ve written, as well as compile a “ Best of Blowin’ In” book of essays. Additionally, I’ve written a children’s Irish fairytale that I hope will make it to the hands of some publishing house. Lastly, I am well on my way to creating the next “Great American Novel”, at last count I was ten pages into my dream!

*Susan holds a Master’s Degree in English from John Carroll University and a Master’s Degree in Education from Baldwin-Wallace University. She may be contacted at suemangan@yahoo.com.

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Bob Carney
Columnist: Speak Irish, Cleveland Comhra

*Bob Carney is a student of Irish history and language and teaches the Speak Irish Cleveland class held every Tuesday @Pj McIntyre’s. He is also active in the Irish Wolfhounds and Irish dogs organizations in and around Cleveland. Wife Mary and hounds Cian and Morrighan

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Francis McGarry
Columnist: Cleveland Irish

Inner View: Cleveland Irish Columnist Francis McGarry

OhioIANews:  Francis McGarry is currently the President of the Irish American Club Eastside and the Bluestone Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. When asked of his involvement in these organizations and other activities in the community he responded with a quote from George Bernard Shaw.  “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.”

Francis your column is extremely well written and researched; do you have a background in Irish studies?

F M:  My college tour was completed with undergraduate degrees in anthropology, education and history from Indiana University. Upon graduation, I spent a year in Mexico and Cuba researching diasporic populations and acculturation. My interests galvanized around resistance and rebellion. The Jose Aponte Rebellion of 1812 was the topic for my Masters at the University of Chicago, I discussed the intersections of race, rebellion and religion in colonial Cuba.

OhioIANews: How did you come to write “Cleveland Irish” column?

F M: Later in life, genealogy filled my idiosyncratic requisite for research. That exploration precipitated general and specific inquiries pertaining to Irish history and the Irish diaspora.

John O’Brien, Jr. and I had multiple conversations about the Cleveland Irish community over dinner. That led to a column in The Ohio Irish American News focused on Irish American and Cleveland Irish history.

OhioIANews: Researching and writing accurate historical articles monthly can be time consuming, why is it important to you to do this?

F M: Writing for the OhioIANews allows me to share narratives that are under-heard and hopefully contribute to a more complete understanding of the Irish i

Katie Gagne
Columnist: Cooking Up a Hooley in the Kitchen

*Katie is an English teacher at Trinity High School by day and in her “spare” time runs her own at-home baking business, Sassy’s Sweets and Oh So Much More, specializing in gourmet cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and pastries. She can be reached at mkbluebows@aol.com or (440) 773-4459

Kenneth Callahan, Jr.
Columnist: Firm Foundations

*Ken Callahan is a retired Common Pleas Judge and a partner at Collins and Scanlon. He is on the boards of Irish Archives and Irish American Law Society. He can be contacted at kcallahan@collins-scanlon.com.

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Maureen Ginley
Columnist: Columbus Irish

*Maureen is an MFA graduate living and working in Columbus. She enjoys coffee, spending time with her dog, and all things Irish.

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J. Michael Finn
Columnist: Illuminations

Inner View:  J. Michael Finn, “Illuminations”

OhioIANews:  Mike, your history column Illuminations is always interesting, how did you become so passionate about Irish history?

JMF:   It all started with the Irish language, my wife Marion saw an ad in our parish bulletin in 1980 that said, “Learn Irish by St. Patrick’s Day.” As it was just before, she decided to enroll me in the course as a Christmas gift.

OhioIANews:  Did you learn Irish?

JMF:  Well I did learn a little Irish, but I was hardly speaking Irish by St. Patrick’s Day. Through that class, however, I became involved in the Irish community; I joined the Ancient Order of Hibernians and eventually made two trips to Ireland. When my wife complains about all my books and history research, I remind her that she was the one who started it all!

It was through the Hibernians that I became really interested in Irish history. I was appointed the historian for the Patrick Pearse Division here in Columbus. I must have been successful at that because in 1996, I was appointed AOH State Historian. Thanks to the support of succeeding AOH State Presidents, I have continued to be reappointed to that position.

OhioIANews: You’re the longest, continually running columnist for the Ohio Irish American News since its beginning, how did that come about?

JMF:  In 2007, some of the Irish history articles I wrote were floating around the internet and Ohio Irish American News Publisher John O’Brien, Jr. asked me if I would write a few articles for an Irish paper he had started. He apparently liked what I wrote, because he soon asked me to write on a regular basis. I think my first monthly article appeared under the column Illuminations in May of 2007. I’ve been with John and his excellent publication ever since.

I hope my history articles have educated the readers about the variety and complexity of Irish history. Most importantly, I try each month to tell a story about a person, place or event in Irish history; illuminating them and explaining why it is so important for us to know our history.

OhioIANews:  Your research and writing isn’t limited to Irish history, what else are you doing?

JMF:   History, you might say, has taken over my life. In addition to writing for OhioIANews, I began contributing articles to the monthly history bulletin of the Catholic Record Society of the Diocese of Columbus. That led to me being elected as Chairman of the Catholic Record Society. I am on my third two-year term as Chairman.

OhioIANews:  That must require a great deal of your time, is there space for anything else in your life?

JMF:  When I’m not working on something historical, I work for the State of Ohio as a Financial Planning Analyst for the Department of Commerce. One of these days I’m going to retire, which will give me more time to pursue some Irish and Catholic history research projects that have been calling to me from my file cabinet. A big part of my retirement plan includes hitting the lottery!  I live in Columbus with my wife Marion. We have one daughter, Kathleen, who lives in Cincinnati.

*J. Michael Finn is the Ohio State Historian for the Ancient Order of Hibernians and Division Historian for the Patrick Pearse Division in Columbus, Ohio. He is also Chairman of the Catholic Record Society for the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio. He writes on Irish and Irish-American history; Ohio history and Ohio Catholic history. You may contact him at FCoolavin@aol.com.

 

Dottie Wenger
Columnist: Kid's Craic

*Dottie has 32 years experience teaching at the kindergarten and second grade levels, and  now handles marketing and promotions for Yorktown Service Plaza in Parma Heights.  In her spare time, Dottie is a baker extraordinaire and also enjoys participating in 5k events in order to offset collateral damage from this hobby.  She is married to John and has two sons, Daniel and Andrew Fowler, the latter of whom is very active in the Cleveland pipe band community.

Marilyn Madigan
Columnist: Madigan Muses

*Marilyn Madigan is a Registered Nurse recently retired from University Hospital. She is an amateur Historian serving as National Irish Historian 2014-2016 for the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians. Currently serving as National Secretary

Terry Kenneally
Columnist: Off the Shelf, On This Day in Irish History

Cleveland Comhrá   Terry Kennneally

Each month when I receive my copy of this publication, I flip through the entire paper to see what my colleagues have written about, then I turn to “Off the Shelf” and read this months book review. Only then do I start back at page one and devour the rest of the columns. It’s rare when the book Terry reviewed is one I’ve already read. Terry and I have been trying to get together for sometime, always talking about getting together whenever our paths crossed. We finally had the opportunity not too long ago at his law office in Rocky River, surrounded by stacks of case files on what appeared to be a very busy day. I found out this was just a normal day in Terry Kenneally’s life.

OhIANews: Can you tell us where you grew up and where you received your education?

Terry: I was born and bred in Cleveland, East Cleveland. I attended grade school at St. Philomena, Holy Name High School, recieved my BA from the University of Toledo, my law degree at Akron University and my Masters in Irish Studies from John Carroll University.

OhIANews: Why Irish Studies?

Terry; Being Irish, I’ve had a strong interest in all things Irish, and I saw an opportunity to go back to Holy Name and teach. So, I went back to school and earned my masters and I’m in my fourth year teaching at Holy Name. I’m currently teaching a course on Irish literature, short stories and in the spring we will cover the famine in Ireland. I’m fortunate I can pick my subject matter, last year I had a course on the troubles in Northern Ireland, one on the Easter Uprising, another on Irish novels, I’m given a lot of lee-way as far as subject matter.

OhIANews: You’re also the President of Holy Name.

Terry: I am, not that that has any influence on anything. I’ve done a lot for Holy Name over the years. Financially, as well as in other ways. My wife Susan is a graduate, my oldest son Terry, who is a police officer, my son Sean who works the practice with me, and my daughter Erin also graduated from Holy Name. My youngest daughter Brianne went to Magnificat.

OhIANews: What does that position entail?

Terry: The president works with the principal, Shelbrey Blanc, another graduate of Holy Name. My primary functions are in advancement and fundraising, I have six people who work for me at the school and we just came off a great year, 2016-2017, we had our best ever annual fund drive. Our gala and golf outing were a big success. We also raised $75,000 for our Namers in Need Fund, which helps seniors who are having trouble making their tution. Then two weeks into our new fiscal year, we received a generous gift from a donor to start the year off, so we’re devloping a strategic plan.

We have a new bishop being installed in September, we haven’t had a bishop since Bishop Lennon resigned, when there isn’t a bishop in office advisory boards and so forth are basically at a stand still. After the bishop is installed, we’ll be very busy.

OhIANews: Most of us would consider being an educator and the president of a high school a full time job.

Terry; This is my full time job. ( Terry waved his arm at the stacks of paper work in his office) I try my best to wear three hats. I’ve been a trial lawyer for thirty-nine years. I have some very loyal, long standing clients. I represent insureds and insurance companies in civil litigation.

I’m fortunate in many ways, I have a great staff at Holy Name, they’re able to work without me being there all of the time. I have a great staff here, my son Sean turned out to be an outstanding lawyer, my wife is our office manager. You’re only as good as the people you have around you, I’m surrounded by good people in both places.

OhIANews: Can you tell us a little more about the work your firm does?

Terry: It’s mostly personal injury related. Personal injuries can occur in many different scenarios, for example, somebody gets rear ended and suffers an injury and files a lawsuit against the person who hit them. If they have insurance, they would turn that over to their insurance company. Every policy gives the company the right to hire counsel to  defend the insured at the company’s expense. So my real client, the paying client is the insurance company, but in 75% of the cases I’m representing one of their insured. In that process there is a lot of litigation, discovery, depositions and so forth. In my thirty-nine years, I’ve probably taken 11-12,000 depositions from people, I’ve tried more than four-hundred cases around the state, so I’ve made a name for myself and have been reasonably successful. It’s not the real high end dollar an hour type of law, but it’s steady and the clients are loyal. We’ve had a very busy summer, but I’m used to it, I couldn’t have a practice if I came in, put my feet up and had the time to read the paper. Everyone here makes it happen, our young associate and my son, our entire staff make it possible.

OhIANews: We have to talk about the Irish American News, you’re one of the original columnists, two features a month, which require you to read even more.

Terry: Ten years now, and believe me, every book I review I read, I’ve always enjoyed reading, even as a kid. All of the books I review are about Ireland, the Irish or written by an Irish author. I’ve got an extensive library of Irish themed books. As much as I hate to see traditional bookstores in decline, I like the convenience of Amazon. I can do a quick preview of a book and have it shipped the next day.

OhIANews:  How do you unwind?

Terry: I enjoy reading, I enjoy our two dogs, we have Weimaraners, our kids are all out of the house so the dogs are our family at home. So between the practice, Holy Name, reading, my dogs, I think the best thing is time with my four grandkids.

Linda Fulton Burke
Columnist: Irish Crossword Puzzle

                                          Linda Fulton Burke

OhIANews: Linda, how did you become interested in crossword puzzles?

Linda: After earning a BS in education from Cleveland State University, I taught second grade in the Mentor Schools for thirty-one years and then two years at Christ the King in East Cleveland. I used to make crosswords for my students to help them study spelling and to increase their vocabulary.

OhIANews: How did you come to create them for the Ohio Irish American News?

Linda: John O’Brien, Jr. had posted on FaceBook that he was looking for someone to do a crossword for the paper. I sent him a message that I could do it if he couldn’t find anyone else (I’m still here after so many years… lol!).

OhIANews: It must be difficult to put a puzzle together; how long does it usually take?

Linda: I generally spend six to eight hours to research, write clues, and make the crossword. Sometimes I run a theme for several months. I like to use travel related themes, as well as current events, such as the Olympics, GAA games, festivals or famous Irish people. Anything I think others might find interesting.

OhIANews: Linda also worked as secretary to the Grand Recorder of the Ohio Royal and Select Masons. She is a past president of the Irish American Club – Eastside and was selected as Member of the Year in 2009. She is married to Jim Burke and has three children and four grandchildren. Linda is a student of the Irish language and all things Irish as her puzzles prove!

*Linda also worked as secretary to the Grand Recorder of the Ohio Royal and Select Masons. She is a past president of the Irish American Club – Eastside and was selected as Member of the Year in 2009. She is married to Jim Burke and has three children and four grandchildren. Linda is a student of the Irish language and all things Irish.

Vincent Beach
Columnist: Taking the Fields of Glory

*Vincent Beach is a builder, footballer, and teacher of Irish language.  He is the current chairman and youth coach for the Cleveland St. Pat’s – St. Jaralath’s Gaelic Football Club.  During the off-season he can be found in PJ’s basement at Speak Irish Cleveland.  He can be contacted at clevelandgaa@gmail.com

Maury Collins
Columnist: Toledo Irish, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

                       

 

 

 

Inner View: Toledo Irish Columnist Maury Collins

OhIANews: Welcome to the OhIAN Maury, have you always been a resident of Toledo?

Maury: I was born in Toledo and I have lived here my whole life. I am a graduate of Central Catholic High School and then attended the University of Toledo, College of Pharmacy. My father came from Co. Cork to Toledo in 1928. My mother came from Port Talbot, Wales in 1928 to New York City. They met through relatives in Toledo and courted long distance until they were married.     
           
OhIANews: Can you tell us a little of your family life?    
Maury: I am married to Penny Collins (aka The Saint). We look forward to celebrating our 50thwedding anniversary on April 15, 2017. We have three children: Moe, Matt and Sarah. We are also blessed with nine grandchildren. I have more relatives in Ireland than I do here in the United States. I have been blessed to visit Ireland three times in my life. I keep in contact with my Irish relatives through Facebook, emails and telephone. I often think of my father sitting at the table, writing letter after letter back home. He once said he left Ireland with a broken heart, knowing he would never see or speak to his mother or father again. Fortunately, he and my mother were able to visit Ireland a few times and spend time with his family during his later years.                                                                                                    

OhIANews: What did you do professionally?

Maury: I worked in the medical field selling medical equipment and supplies. I became the IT director of my company for the last seven years of my career. I maintained the company network, web site and went out to customer clinics and physician offices installing hardware and the company’s medical software.

OhIANews: What prompted you to write for the OhIANews?

Maury: When the Ohio Irish American News first started, back in 2007, John O’Brien, Jr. came to Toledo and I took him around, introducing him to local establishment owners. I have been active in the Ancient Order of Hibernians. I established and maintain a Hibernian Prayer Request Page at www.prayerrequestpage.com.  I have written a monthly newsletter for the Toledo John P. Kelley Division AOH and the Mother McAuley Division LAOH. John received copies of my newsletters and invited me to write a column on the Toledo Irish for the Ohio Irish American News.

I have been accused by cousins in Ireland of “ being more Irish than the Irish”. I consider that to be a compliment! I hope my articles generate interest in Irish heritage and more activity among the Toledo Irish community.

OhIANews: Maury Collins was just elected President of the Lucas County (Toledo) Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He was installed to his two year term at the Division Christmas party Dec. 3,2016

* Maury Collins is a charter member and past president of the Toledo AOH division. He may be reached at maurycollins61@gmail.com.

Don’t Forget, Send Maury maurycollins61@gmail.com) and John (jobrien@ohioianews.com) your Toledo Irish events news and pics so we can let everyone know. Deadline is 10thof the month, for the following month, so Jan 10 for February issue, etc ....

Terry Boyle
Columnist: Terry from Derry

                                      Inner View: Terry from Derry Columnist Terry Boyle
 

OhIANews:  Terry, as a columnist, you have become known as “Terry from Derry”.

Terry:  It has almost become my last name, and to some degree the place that we were born is intrinsically part of who we are.

OhIANews:  Can you tell us a bit about growing up and living in Northern Ireland?

Terry:  I’ve lived most of my life in Derry, N. Ireland, until coming to the United States in 2004. I grew up during the height of The Troubles, when it seemed as if we were on the brink of a ‘civil war’. My school life, along with my contemporaries, was frequently interrupted with riots, shootings and bombings. However, despite the violence, I did go on to study Irish and English Literature at the University of Ulster, completing my studies with a doctorate. I’ve always been an avid reader and as such being a student of literary works was no chore, but a delight.

OhIAN:  What have you been doing since moving to the States?

Terry:  I moved here to take a position at Loyola University Chicago. I’ve also begun to put pen to paper, writing dramatic works (some of which have been produced), and a selection of short stories.

OhIANews:  How did a Chicago resident become involved with the OhIAN?

Terry:  My introduction to the Irish American community and the Ohio Irish American News, happened a few years after I’d left Ireland. I was giving a lecture at a local theater that was producing an Irish play, when I met some very enthusiastic fellow countrymen. It was they who discovered me, and drew me into the greater Irish American community. It was also through their encouragement that I started writing articles for the Irish American News, Chicago, and chairing a number of literary panels for iBAM (Irish Books, Arts and Music Showcase). Sooner or later it was inevitable that my path would cross with John O’Brien, Jr., the editor of OhIANews, who suggested I contribute to his newspaper. His remit was easy to follow: ‘write about what interests you’.

OhIANews:  What are some of your other interests?

Terry:  They’re varied - music, theatre, books spirituality, and of course politics. You would be hard pressed to find someone from Northern Ireland who is apolitical.

OhIANews:  Terry’s collection of short stories is available on Amazon under the title of,  The Designs of Silence, a stark portrait of the darker side of human existence in Northern Ireland. It was hard to put down until I finished it.

​*Terry Boyle is a professor at Loyola University, Chicago.  He writes and reviews plays, while also teaching modern Irish and English drama.  Moving from Derry, N. Ireland to Chicago in 2004, he continues to enjoy is work with the Irish American community.  He can be reached at tboyle1@luc.edu

Mary Kate Campbell
Columnist: Young & Irish

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