By John Myers
Brit Retro’s Adore Thatcher’s Scourge (B.R.A.T.S.)
While they may mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth, the Unionist BRATS still truly pine for the days of their true queen, The Iron Lady, Marg Thatcher.
Despite being 25 years since the Good Friday Accord created the Northern Ireland Assembly, the BRATS have made it clear that they will work to destroy that which has brought peace to the Six Counties if they do not get their way. Much like the spoiled child Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the stomping of their little feet may not end up well for them.
Speaking at the DUP’s Annual Conference last month, Party Chairman Lord Morrow stated, “Unless the Protocol (Irish Sea Border) is replaced, there will be NO prospect of The DUP Party taking up its place in a Stormont Executive.” Adding, with a straight face and complete lack of understanding of the height of irony and hypocrisy, “Where some are more equal than others.” After a century or more of Loyalist privilege, it is more than cheeky to whine about not getting their way, all the time.
It has been six months since Michelle O’Neil, Sinn Fein’s leader in the Six Counties, should have been sworn in as The First Executive of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Loyalists continue to boycott the results of the democratically held local elections as they were unhappy with the outcome of the election.
DUP Leader, Jeff Donaldson recently made clear that “either the prime minister delivers the provisions of the Protocol Bill by legislation or by negotiation and ensures that our place in the United Kingdom is restored, or there will be no basis to re-enter Stormont.” One might ask who “our” is, in that quote.
While The Unionist screech is nothing original, it does not bode well for the near future, when Lizzy Truss, the new British Prime Minister, shared in her first session of PM Questions, “I want to work with all the parties in Northern Ireland to get the Executive and Assembly back up and running, BUT in order to do that we need to fix the issues of the Northern Ireland Protocol which has damaged the balance between the communities in Northern Ireland.”
What Issues? Frankly the Protocols are being implemented with remarkably little disruption to everyday life in the Six Counties. The biggest changes are a result of Brexit, which the Loyalists supported, led by their Tory Government.
The Protocols have left the BRATS with hurt feelings that accommodations were made, specific to Northern Ireland. The BRATS are feeling like Mommy Westminster loves the rest of the U.K. more, they want their special and privileged position to be restored.
PM Lizzy seems to be saying that the N.I. Protocol must be changed BEFORE the benefits of democracy will be restored to Northern Ireland. It is an outrageous stance and a clear attack upon the Good Friday Accord. It has only been the push back from the Biden White House and the leadership of the Democratic House of Representatives that has kept P.M. Truss from unilaterally ditching the N.I. Protocol to date. Let’s hope common sense can prevail.
Hollywood Comes to Achill Island
Just opened is Martin McDonagh’s film, The Banshees of Iniserin, starring Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell. McDonagh has previously directed, “Six Shooter” (2004), “In Bruges” (2008), and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017).
Gleeson and Farrell are reunited in a black comedy “Guinness Black,” as one film critic called it, focused on an often-overlooked genre of male friendship. McDonagh chose Achill Island, Ireland’s largest island, off the west coast of County Mayo, as the setting for the fictious island of Iniserin. Scenes are also filmed in the Aran Islands.
The Achill Tourism office stated, “Filming for the Banshees movie on Achill Island took place in September 2021, with the island accommodating a large film crew and providing extras for crowd scenes. The locations used include Cloughmore on the Atlantic Drive, Purteen Harbour, Keem Bay, Corrymore Lake and St. Thomas’ Church in Dugort.
“The official movie poster features Gleeson and Farrell standing on Keem Beach, looking across to the Minaun Cliffs.” Early reviews were exceptional, with the movie winning Best Actor and Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival, including a thirteen-minute standing ovation. Don’t miss it.
Cleveland Irish Join Saturday Night Live (SNL) Crew
Irish Actors Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell recently took to promoting their new film, The Banshees of Iniserin on the set of Saturday Night Live. They joined Irish American Molly Kearney as one of the newest additions to the SNL cast. Molly is a young, fresh comic who comes from a proud Irish American family in Cleveland, Ohio. Molly graduated from Rocky River’s Magnificat High School and The University of Dayton.
In addition to various Cleveland stages, Kearney has performed stand-up in Chicago and L.A. Molly’s Irish roots are with the Kearney, Murphy, Gill, Golden and Dorsey families from County Mayo and Roscommon. The AvClub described Molly’s performance as, “Kearney’s grounded delivery is perfectly pitched.” Good Luck to Molly!
The Long Way to Tipperary
Just got shorter, is how John Hogan, who oversees Air Service Development at Cleveland-Hopkins Airport, described the latest expansion of air service to Cleveland. Irish Airlines, AER LINGUS has announced direct air service from Cleveland to Dublin.
The Aer Lingus web site leads with: “Oh HI Ohio! It’s time to discover Cleveland.” Cuyahoga County, The City of Cleveland and JobsOhio partnered to incentivize Aer Lingus to choose Cleveland as its newest direct service. Cuyahoga Executive Armond Budish shared that the County was very proud to partner on this important project, stating, “our business community needs direct flights to Europe.”
One great advantage to the Dublin-Cleveland flight is Dublin airports capacity to preform ‘pre-clearance’ checks, giving travelers the ability to avoid customs upon landing here. Cuyahoga Council President Pernell Jones, Jr. said, “We are excited to have Aer Lingus come to Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. Cleveland was built in large part by Irish immigrants.”
This new service will carry travelers the 3,466 miles to Dublin in eight short hours and provide connecting flights to over twenty European cities. Aer Lingus will be flying the Airbus A321LR with 184 seats, including sixteen full flatbed seats.
Terry Slaybaugh, V.P. Sites and Infrastructure Development at JobsOhio, stated that this new connectivity was part of JobsOhio’s success at adding over 250,000 new passenger seats to Ohio’s air service inventory, critical to Ohio business growth. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Edward Crawford, provided a special welcome to Aer Lingus and made it clear the importance of getting this new air service to Cleveland.
A bagpiper provided musical backdrop for the crowd, which included representatives of the Irish Community: John O’Brien, Sr., President of the West-Side Irish American Club; Helen Malloy, a delegate with the United Irish Societies of Greater Cleveland; and Quinn Irish Radio host, Gerry Quinn.