According to Irish economist and author David McWilliams, one solution to Ireland’s recent economic problems may come from the Irish but not from Ireland, it would come from what he calls the “great Irish tribe.” McWilliams gave a lecture titled, “Ireland, Europe and the Irish Diaspora – Re-imagining Ireland in the 21st Century,” in the Rare Book Room of the Hesburgh Library on Friday. McWilliams said Ireland’s current economic turmoil amidst the general problems of the Eurozone requires something drastic, but he believes this solution could be provided by the people worldwide who identify themselves as Irish. “The future of Ireland needs another shock, and that’s where you come in, where the diaspora comes in,” McWilliams said. He said the possibility of enlisting the self-identified Irish in places like the United States, Canada and Australia first came to his mind due to the comment of a mentor. McWilliams said he was assigned a very experienced Israeli mentor while working for a Swiss bank in Israel. One day, this mentor said he noticed that he dealt with many ethnically Irish people when working with American companies and asked McWilliams whether or not the Irish had any mechanism for bringing these people back to Ireland. McWilliams said he hadn’t given the subject much thought before then, but he didn’t think there was any such effort. “We’ve done nothing but repel the tribe as far as I can tell,” he said. McWilliams said he has since begun working on various projects to make use of the Irish overseas and his reason for coming to Notre Dame was to propose his ideas. “[Notre Dame] is an incredibly powerful place to start these projects. Notre Dame is a huge resource for the Irish in America and a brilliant center for Irish connections. You can use Notre Dame to champion some of the ideas and feed into its network of alumni,” he said. “This could be a huge project which Notre Dame could be involved in.” McWilliams said there are three elements of his overall proposal, a program resembling the “Birthright Israel” program, allowing Irish ex-patriots to vote in national elections and reaching out to the ethnically Irish based on town records. McWilliams said during his time in Israel he learned about the birthright program, which provides free 10-day educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults from 60 different countries. McWilliams said he is hoping to create a similar program for Irish young adults. The goal of the program is to instill a strong emotional connection with Ireland and their Irish heritage in the young adults, McWilliams said.”Emotional things that happen to you as a kid stick with you. Imagine as an American what it would mean to visit Ireland when you’re 15,” McWilliams said. McWilliams said he has seen Polish, Italian, American and other ex-patriot groups line-up to vote in their nation’s elections while living overseas. Similarly enfranchising Irish citizens who are living abroad could help to alleviate problems of provisionalism and clientalism present in current Irish politics, he said. McWilliams said those who have lived abroad for a while might have a better perspective on what is good for the Irish nation as a whole. McWilliams said he is also leading an effort to use town records and town gossips to trace the emigration stories of the world’s ethnically Irish and then reaching out to them with their own history. “We can email you, everyone’s contactable nowadays, with a Google Maps image of the specific field from which your relative emigrated from Ireland,” he said. “With tech we can bring all this together.” McWilliams said this idea that Ireland ought to do more to engage the ethnically Irish of the world, his “diaspora strategy,” was not initially as well received as it is now. He said the idea progressed through the three stages of reception from “open ridicule” to “violent opposition” to “everyone claims they were already on your side.” “The idea was fist considered risible, something to be laughed at, but now everyone has a diaspora strategy,” he said. McWilliams said this effort could be very successful because Ireland has one of the best “brand” names in the world, but it all depends on the cooperation of the Irish diaspora. “The power of the diaspora can be forged to improve the ‘product’ of Ireland, a country with the most powerful ‘brand’ in the world because every member of the diaspora is a salesperson for the ‘brand,’” he said. “We can only do this if we work together.”
ON JANUARY 16 Colombia’s railway authority Ferrovías launched a competition for a 30-year concession to rehabilitate, maintain and operate freight services over its Atlantic network; bidding is due to close on July 16.The concession covers 1284 active route-km of 914mm gauge, formed by the Chiriguana – Dorada – Bogota – Belencito route and branches to Medellin, Mariquita and Lenguazaque. The currently disused Mariquita – Neiva, Buenos Aires – Picalena and Bucaramanga – Puerto Wilches lines, totalling 434 route-km, will also be included should a bidder want to run them.Rehabilitation is to be undertaken within five years, with the cost shared by the concessionaire and the government. The concession also includes the rehabilitation and maintenance, but not operation, of the Chiriguana – La Loma (28 km) and Ciénaga – Santa Marta (35 km) sections of the Chiriguana – Santa Marta route. Ferrovías is upgrading the intervening 182 km from La Loma to Ciénaga for export coal traffic under an agreement signed with mining company Drummond (RG 12.96 p790). o
Pope Francis has opened the possibility of ordaining married men to serve as priests in the Catholic church.In an interview with Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper published this week, the Pontiff said the church should study whether ‘viri probati’ or married men of proven faith – could be ordained to fill the gap left by the shortage of priests around the world. He described it as an “enormous problem” that must be resolved.“We must consider if viri probati is a possibility. Then we must determine what tasks they can perform, for example, in remote communities,” he was quoted as saying.he, however, stressed that removing the celibacy rule mandated to priests is not an answer to the priest shortage.The Latin rite already allows some married non-Catholic clergymen who become Catholics to be ordained.Clerical marriage, meaning priests who marry once ordained, is not allowed by the church. It is unclear if Francis would issue a decree to allow “viri probati” throughout the church.The “viri probati” proposal has been around for decades, but it has drawn renewed attention under the church’s first Latin American pope.Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, a longtime friend of Francis and former head of the Vatican’s office for clergy, is reportedly pressing to allow viri probati in the Amazon, where the church counts around one priest for every 10,000 Catholics.Francis has shown particular openness to receiving concrete proposals for ordaining married men, reportedly saying in private in 2014 that it could be left for bishops to decide depending on the situation, The Register reported.Francis also has shown his own pastoral concern for men who have left ministry to marry.He has maintained friendship with the Argentine widow of a friend who left the priesthood to marry, and he spent one of his Friday mercy missions last year visiting with men who had left ministry to start families.He also has said that while he favors a celibate priesthood, celibacy technically can be up for discussion since it’s a discipline of the church, not a dogma.
Brian Purse, current chairman of the Midland Golf Union and a long-time amateur golf volunteer, has been presented with the Gerald Micklem Award for 2013. He received the trophy from outgoing President, Paul Baxter, at the Annual General Meeting of England Golf at Woodhall Spa and joins a long line of distinguished winners. The Micklem Award is presented annually to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to further the interest of amateur golf in England. Purse has always been a keen sportsman, although his first interests were with cricket and soccer. His first taste of golf came at a nine-hole course at The Gog Magog near Cambridge as some of his business colleagues – he was employed as an Articled Clerk in a Chartered Accountants practice in Cambridge – were members there. However, he was generally a nomadic golfer throughout the 1970s but after he was promoted to a managerial role by his employers in the company’s practice in St Neots, he joined St Neots Golf Club in 1979 with a handicap of eight, becoming club champion nine years later and again in 1997. A year later, in 1989, he was elected Club Captain in its 99th year and after two more years his interest in county affairs saw him join the late Malcolm Unsworth representing Cambridgeshire on the Midland Golf Union, serving for eight years. Following Malcolm’s death, Purse took over as Cambridgeshire representative on the English Golf Union Executive Committee for ten years from 1995 – 2005. It was during that period, 1997 – 1998, that he was elected President of the MGU. Further honours were to follow and in 2000 and 2001, he became President of Cambridgeshire, the first member of St Neots to hold that office. It was during his tenure that Cambridgeshire won the Anglian League for the first time. From 2001 to 2005, Purse served as a member of the EGU’s Finance Committee, while for two years from 2003 he became Chairman of junior golf in Cambridgeshire, during which time he and David Tipple set up a template for the county’s first official coaching programme. His role with the juniors was relatively brief as, in 2005, he was elected Midland Chairman, a post he holds to this day. “Throughout my 25 years or so as a volunteer I have been privileged to work, and spend time with, a multitude of people who have positively influenced my life,” Purse added. “I owe a great debt of gratitude to so many and can only repay them by continuing to serve a game I love.” Picture shows Paul Baxter (left) and Brian Purse. 14 Feb 2013 Midland Chairman Purse receives Micklem Award
Facebook15Tweet0Pin0 Class 4A volleyball tournament (all games at either Timberline High School or St. Martins University)Olympia High School vs. Wenatchee High School @ 3:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9Class 3A volleyball tournament (all games at either Timberline High School or St. Martins University)Timberline High School vs. Southridge High School @ 9:45 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 9North Thurston High School vs. Shorewood High School @ 11:45 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 9Class 2A Volleyball tournament (all games at either Pierce College or Lakes High School)Capital High School vs. West Valley High School @ 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 9Tumwater High School vs. East Valley High School @ 2:45 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9Class 2A-4A swimming and diving championships Friday Nov. 9, through Saturday, Nov. 10 @ King County Aquatic CenterAthletes from Capital High School, North Thurston High School, Tumwater High School and Olympia High School will be representedClass 2A Football State TournamentCapital High School vs Lakewood High School at Goddard Stadium, Everett on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 pmSteilacoom High School vs Tumwater High School at Tumwater on Friday, November 9 at 7:00 pmClass 3A Football State TournamentNorth Thurston High School vs Kennewick High School at Kennewick on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 4:00 pmTimberline vs Marysville-Pilichuck High School at South Sound Stadium in Lacey on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7:00 pm