Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Maureen The Irish Rose

In honor of St Patricks Day, Maureen Dowd gave an interview with her sister to the Irish Times website. She also unearthed this photo of her at the age of two that appeared in the Washington Post. What a cute shamrock on her dress.

In the article, she talks about the Irish lad that got away:

Somewhere in Australia there's an Irish lad called Rowan McCormick who broke Maureen Dowd's heart. When she went back in the early 1970s to visit her homestead in County Clare, hard by the majestic Cliffs of Moher, she met him and fell madly in love.


Sadly, like most summer romances, Dowd’s didn’t work out, and her beau departed for Australia. But when she was Down Under a few years back on a book tour she put out an all points bulletin and he came running.

Alas, he was married now and settled down. Dowd still sounds disappointed.
The Dowd patriarch nearly didn't make it to America from Ireland:
Michael from Clare was the son of a poor farmer in a poor country, the second child in the family named Michael after the first died. He was booked on the Titanic in 1914, but his mother cried all night and he couldn’t leave her.
Once in America, her dad became a cop that hung around a neighborhood bar (no Irish stereotypes at work there) where he found love:
The cop and the barkeep's daughter were both champion Irish step dancers. In 1934 they married; the age difference was 18 years. They raised five kids together – Maureen, the youngest, Michael, Martin, Kevin and Peggy.
From her mother's side, angry politics runs in Maureen's blood:
Her mother was an Irish rebel. In the 1970s Peggy Dowd led a demonstration at the British Embassy after Bloody Sunday when 14 were shot by British forces in Derry. To her eternal satisfaction the then British ambassador had to sneak in through the underground garage.
A tradition she carries on:
The old Irish rebel still lives on in the daughter. Mike Quill, the great union leader and 1920s IRA activist, is alleged to have told the immigration man letting him into America that, “if there’s a government here I’m against it.” Sometimes it seems Maureen feels that way too.
Ain't that the truth. So on this Saint Paddy's Day, raise a pint and toast "Maureen Go Bragh!"

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