Saturday, December 28, 2013

Essex Happenings January 2014


Rail Trail News
Even though I am no longer in the employ of Essex Heritage, and simply serve as many other Commissioners and trustees do as volunteers, I am most interested in numerous initiatives fostered by the mission of Essex Heritage particularly as they focus on recreation and the outdoors.  In that vein, I follow their work on the development of rail trails across the region.  I have recently been made aware of a most energetic and enthusiastic project undertaken as an Eagle Scout project that involved the search for and the building and installation of benches made of old railroad wheels and other material.  The three benches have been assembled and installed along the recently completed Danvers Rail Trail.  If you are in the vicinity of those resting places, take a look at the work of Danvers High School Senior, Tim Jordan, as it is a wonderful addition to the trail.

Speaking of Rail Trail enhancements the leadership of the Newburyport Rail Trail group have recently received a $50,000.00 grant to install Murals and other art work along the 1.1 mile Clipper City Rail Trail,   The City of Newburyport will add funds to complete the project.

A wonderful holiday gift
If you are still searching for the perfect gift for someone you might consider during the Holiday Season………Think about a membership for 2014.   The Commission truly provided events for all seasons.  See the following Information.

Your Support Matters.
The Essex National Heritage Commission Membership program offers unique opportunities to explore this Heritage Area. Members are the first to hear about exciting events, receive discounts to attend these events and receive the quarterly invitation highlighting them. In turn, supporting Essex Heritage through our membership program means you embrace and champion our mission to preserve and enhance the historic, cultural and natural resources of the Essex National Heritage Area. Our power comes from the power of our supporters – people like you who commit to protecting our region and our resources. We can't do it without you!
•  Become a member
•  Check out our "Membership Details" to learn more about membership and member benefits.

Questions? For more information, email or phone Essex Heritage at 978-740-0444.

Thank you to our Corporate Members
Essex Heritage is grateful for the generous support of our Corporate Members! All of our Corporate Members enjoy unique visibility opportunities and privileges.   Learn more about Essex Heritage's Corporate Membership Program.
·         Become a Member!
·         Membership Details
·         Corporate Membership Program
·         Event Host Opportunities

Essex National Heritage Area • 221 Essex Street, Suite 41, Salem, MA 01970, ph 978-740-0444, f 978-744-6473

Partnership Grant Gifts in My Name Provided by Local Friends and Associates
I am pleased to learn from the staff at Essex Heritage the memorial gifts in my name have been contributed by local friends to the Essex Heritage Partnership Grant Program.  Both Essex Heritage and I are most grateful for their thoughtfulness.  These generous donors were were Michael Morris, Dr. Wayne Burton, Fr. John O’Donnell and Paul Mc Ginley.

Happy New Year
I want to take a moment here to wish any readers of this Blog a most Happy New Year along with all of our best wishes for continuing good health and financial success.   As it is every year let us all fervently wish for a level of peace on earth and safety from gun violence  and other ills in our daily life’s.

Essex County Vocational Technical School Progressing  on Schedule
The New Vocational and Technical School currently under construction in Danvers is on schedule and under budget even though there are some under current in the region about costs of the program.  A comprehensive schedule of night classes offered for adults was recently released and there is truly something for everyone outlined in a recent publication recently mailed to area residents.   Also there are some discussions about a new privately funded indoor skating rink being planned and leased facility adjacent Soccer Field at the new school facility.  The initial comments about the ice facility expressed that revenues would be positive from this venture.   It seems to this observer that the location of this proposed venture would be a welcome addition to the local area provided  the potential problems with some residential neighbors might be addressed.

Innovative plan for the expansion of Education programs in Downtown Lynn Canceled
An innovative plan that would house education programs for Cosmetology and Culinary Arts being moved out of the Essex Aggie location to make room for the new county wide Vocational and Technical High School currently being built in Danvers has suffered a setback as the company that had entered into a prospective deal with Community College has fallen apart.  The programs were moving to a location in downtown Lynn but they are now once again without a home.  The two programs that historically produced students for prospective employment opportunities will be a loss for the region.  The collapse of the proposed deal has also produced a lawsuit by the present owner of the proposed location for the two programs.

Potential Power Plant Needs Debated
As the start-up date of 2016 moves closer and closer the entities from both camps, both pro and con for the need of the development of a natural gas powered plant continues to debate the need for such a facility.   I would expect that the issue will get more hotly contested as the START-UP date get closer and closer. Stay tuned for more facts and figures on the project so vital to the economic future of Salem and certain communities in the region.

City of Peabody to seek a home rule petition to offer ten additional liquor licenses In the Leather City
The City Administration with the unanimous support of the Council will be seeking a home rule petition that would allow the City to offer ten additional full service liquor licenses to potential establishments in either the restored downtown and at the retail mall. The new licenses would be used as an economic development tool in the community.  The Town of Danvers has applied for a couple of extra permissions and that effort has been successful.   Several local adjacent communities have seen the growth of the restaurant industry as an excellent economic tool.

The City of Peabody Considering the Rehabilitation of a an well recognized building in Peabody Square
A development firm is considering the rehabilitation of a historic building in the city center that would include a new hotel with a restaurant and meeting space.  It is expected that this plan would prove to be an incentive to visitors to the region.

Wreath Program offered in Peabody.   New Project Honoring Vets in Danvers
In the recent past several programs in the region have been announced that will benefit veterans.    A very aggressive program that would place wreaths from the Wreaths Across America on the graves of Vets has been established in Peabody.   A new memorial was recently constructed in Danvers adjacent to the Thorpe School to honor Vets in that community.

Local Senior Centers in No Andover and Danvers seeking Volunteers to assist in programs.
The Senior Center in North Andover is seeking volunteers to drive clients to medical appointments.    The Danver Senior Center currently has an innovative adult non medical Day Care Service, and that center is seeking qualified volunteer help.  The program has been most successful providing that there is a current and ongoing need for these kinds of programs.

It is very clear that all over this region there are non-profit organizations that would welcome volunteer help.  If you have received help in the past from one of these regional non-profits consider ‘paying it forward’ with contributed support.

Public Education vs. Private colleges
Once overlooked public University Programs and Community Colleges are stepping ahead of their private college partners in this state.  In many cases the public facilities are experiencing increased funding, improved new state of the arts facilities, honor programs, affordable tuitions and higher graduation results.  Recent reports show publish networks of public college in the State of Massachusetts are passing many private educational institutions in their status in the market for quality education for the costs offered.

Marblehead Town Building built in 1727 to be updated to insure handicapped accessibility
The Town of Marblehead has completed a half million dollar project that includes the installation of an elevator to make the building more accessible to residents of that seaside community.

Salem to enter phase two of City Hall Improvement Project
Speaking of older historic buildings, the City of Salem is embarking on the next phase of a major rehabilitation of Salem City Hall.  The building was constructed in 1838 and is on the National Registry of Historic Places and is one of the oldest continuous operating community city halls in the Country.     During the first phase of this 2 million dollar project a number of accessibility issues were addressed such as the installation of an elevator, and the final disability matters such as lower customer counters and wider doorways are being addressed to assist people in wheelchairs.    It is very pleasing for me to see so many elevators being installed around the region.   This is very important to people with disabilities.   I am a person with a disability who is currently involved in a project to make my parish church in Danvers accessible with the installation of an elevator and that project continues to be one of my primary concerns. 

Local emphasis on Library improvements countywide
All across the Essex County region local library complexes are undergoing improvement projects including both federal, state and private funding, including a unique effort in the Town of Salisbury where private funds are being sought.

Beverly Retail Improvements
Approval of a Beverly property to be used as a new retail center may also have an impact on plans of the Cummings Property and may well impact a future plans on Dunham Road, as conservation issues might cause changes in plans for that area by the retail giant in Beverly.  A final decision on this project will be decided by a public referendum in a soon to be schedule election.


This year may mark one of the first times in recent years that no local community was represented in the year end football Super Bowl competition This year Bishop Fenwick in Peabody and Central Catholic School in Lawrence won super Bowl Titles in December 2013 and should be congratulated.
Recent reading
In the most recent weeks I have curtailed my political and patriotic reading to take some time to read the biography of one the sports icons of this region that I have witnessed in person over the last couple of decades.   I have completed a very short but entertaining story of the life of Bobby Orr who helped to lead the Boston Bruins to a couple of Stanley Cup titles.  

I have long been a very strong admirer of Orr since I was a local youth hockey coach in the 1970’s.  I had the wonderful experience of providing a youth team to work with Bobby Orr, and Nabisco in the making of a film called “Winning Isn’t Everything”.   For two days myself and fifteen ten year old youths worked together with Orr to film drills and game action with commentary by Orr.   During that two day period I would be hard pressed to find a gentleman who was any more attentive to the youths we took to Harvard to film the documentary.  During the filming, the attention that he paid to my team and the personal attention he paid to provide tips to the boys on how they could improve in hockey and to be better contributors in life in general.   Later at a business meeting we used that occasion to discuss the filming and what that meant to my youngsters.

The book was well prepared and I enjoyed his presentation style and stories of his life as a professional hockey player starting at a very early age.

United States Congress making progress on a compromised budget agreement
The US-Congress may be saving an otherwise non- productive two year session with the potential passage of a two year federal budget that will contain several compromises from the two active political parties both sides of the aisle.  Possibly the  public messages to the Congress of the low regard we are holding them I at present may be getting through and this might be showing a positive sign for the future.

Holiday Food Pantry Needs
One of the Leonard Family favorite charities is the People to People Food Pantry in Danvers.   Early in December we attended a party for the benefit of the Danvers Pantry.  That day a considerable amount of resources were raised as well as great amounts of food products were donated at the Holiday Philharmonic Concert that offered a continuing Christmas tradition  by St. Richard’s Church in Danvers. 

At this time if you can offer help to a number of Food Pantries around the region, they certainly can use your support at this time of the year when the need is at its highest point.

Death of a family member
Just a week or so before the Christmas Holiday a venerable and a greatly admired uncle of mine passed away in a local Rehabilitation Facility.   John Hyland of Rockport suffered a fall and then passed away from injuries as he approached a century of living in this region.   Jack, the youngest brother of my mother was the historian of the family and he will be greatly missed by the remaining family members.  Jack lived for many years lived in the South Salem section of that city.  He served his country during World War Two as a Navy See Bee, and preformed much needed service in the Pacific Ocean Theatre of the War, building Air Strips and other facilities on Islands captured by the Allies.  As a youngster the family and I followed with great interest his travels across the Pacific Ocean.  After the war Jack worked for the General Electric Company at the River Works Plant in Lynn on the Jet Engine Program until his retirement.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

ESSEX HAPPENINGS - Holiday Season - DECEMBER, 2013

Heritage Hero Award Presented to Joanne Holbrook Patton and the Patton Family
A Most Successful and Popular Regional Event
The recent event to honor Joanne Patton and the entire Patton Family was a wonderful success and the honor was most justified.   The event was held on October 16 at the Danversport Yacht Club which accommodated a sellout crowd attended by over 420 people from all over the region. This event and the award were a wonderful testament to the commitment of the preservation of the heritage of this region by the Patton family. Because of the strong military history of the Patton tradition, many of the attendees came dressed in military uniforms and this added to the festive nature of the evening along with the substantial number of supporting congratulatory toasts, messages and tributes.   In these days of reduced federal financial support for many organizations including Essex Heritage, the proceeds from this event will be used to underwrite the work of the Commission. 

Partial list of Essex Heritage Programs & Initiatives
The mission of the Essex National Heritage Commission is to preserved and enhance the historic, cultural, and natural resources of Essex County, MA. Since 1996, the Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage) has championed the heritage development of Essex County by fostering public-private partnerships that enhance and promote significant aspects of the region’s history, cultural heritage and character. A few of the  most significant initiatives and accomplishments include:

Essex Heritage Grants Programs
The Commission directly invests in the Area though its grant programs.  To date, Essex Heritage has made 381 grants totaling $1,815,245 to non-profit organizations and municipalities within the National Heritage Area.  One hundred percent of the Area’s communities have received a grant; most have received several grants.  The Essex Heritage Partnership Grants initiative is the largest of the Commission’s grant programs, and it provides funding for heritage education, interpretation, historic preservation, historical records and trail development.  Acting as seed money, these grants have leveraged an additional $20,944,657 in matching investment in the Area, serving to drive economic development along with heritage preservation.

Trails & Sails: Two Weekends of Walks and Water
Trails & Sails is Essex Heritage’s premier partnership activity. The free event expands cultural tourism by bringing new audiences to dozens of historic sites and open spaces, and stimulating new business in the local economy. Held in late September, residents and visitors alike experience the region’s best from a wide array of events – guided walks, on-water tours, open houses – organized by the front line stewards of the Area’s historic, cultural and natural resources.

Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
Essex Heritage is leading the planning effort for the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway, a 85-mile route linking 13 coastal communities between Lynn and Newburyport featuring scenic views, period architecture, historic sites and recreational opportunities. With the twin goals of preserving the byway’s intrinsic qualities and spurring investment in its infrastructure, attractions and amenities, Essex Heritage worked to secure state byway designation and federal funding for a comprehensive management plan that will help community and regional leaders increase cultural tourism. Learn more about the Coastal Scenic Byway.

Youth Jobs Corps
Essex Heritage has built a strong summer youth employment and training program through a unique partnership with the National Park Service. The program is directed towards youth ages 14-18 years. The teens are hired to work at the two national park sites in Salem and Saugus and this year the program was expanded to include Appleton Farms in Ipswich - a working farm owned and operated by The Trustees of Reservations.

Essex Heritage hires the teens for 8 -12 weeks and they work under the careful guidance and supervision of NPS staff.  At the parks, they acquire skills in historic preservation, building maintenance, natural resource management, interpretation and visitor operations. For many of these students this is their first job experience, so they are also given assistance on how to prepare for work, work place expectations, resume preparation, and career development.

The impact on these students’ lives has been substantial, and several have returned to work at the park during the fall and also in subsequent summers. “The program has taught me responsibility, appreciation for the city and its history, and opened new doors for my future,” Daniel Mondragon.

Border to Boston Trail
Working to expedite development of the 28-mile Border to Boston Trail, Essex Heritage provides leadership and staff support to a regional partnership composed of local officials, the Massachusetts Highway Department, Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and National Grid. With portions already under construction, the non-motorized, multi-use rail-trail will provide alternative transportation links to town centers, schools, businesses, and public parklands in eight communities from Salisbury to Danvers. When completed, the trail will be one of the region’s most outstanding assets, facilitating safe, scenic and healthy transportation and recreation for all. Read more about the Border to Boston.

Using Essex History
Using Essex History has been a highly successful program aimed at training middle school and high school teachers in ways to improve the relevancy of American history for their students by providing developmental seminars and instruction on creating curricula based on local historical assets. Using Essex History was supported by a Teaching American History grant and 130 Essex County teachers participated  in the program. Although the grant has run its course, the information remains live and updated by Salem State College’s History Department. Learn more about Using Essex History.

Essex LINCs (Local History in a National Context)
Essex Heritage was part of a team guiding a three-year heritage education initiative designed to connect Essex County elementary teachers with local primary source material. During visits to historical sites throughout Essex County and beyond teachers learn how to infuse their social studies lessons with stories, places, and artifacts that make history relevant for the future stewards of the heritage area. Other core partners include Beverly Public Schools, Salem State College, and the National Archives, Northeast Region. The project was funded with a Teaching American History grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Learn more about LINCs.

Essex National Heritage Area Visitor Centers
Essex Heritage coordinates a network of ten visitor centers that provide information on the heritage resources throughout Essex County.  The associated centers includes the National Park Service’s Regional Visitor Center in Salem, the Hall Haskell House and Visitor Center in Ipswich, and the NBC&VB’s Maria Miles Visitor Center in Salisbury. Essex Heritage works cooperatively with these centers to promote regional tourist visitation. By providing consistent and knowledgeable assistance about the Area’s myriad of natural, historic and cultural attractions, the visitor centers, most run by volunteers, are a key to competing well in the growing and lucrative cultural tourism market. Learn more about the ENHA Visitor Centers.

Essex Heritage Membership Program
Through the Commission’s signature membership program, area residents are encouraged to take an active role in supporting the organization’s stewardship mission while exploring the region’s unparalleled historic, cultural and natural assets. Members enjoy “behind the scenes” excursions to heritage area sites for guided tours, educational lectures and interpretive demonstrations

Essex Heritage Photo Safaris
The photo safaris program connects new audiences with the region’s heritage resources. Through a unique partnership with Hunt's Photo and Video, major camera companies provide safari participants with the latest in digital camera equipment and expertise as they learn photography tips using some of the Area’s most extraordinary natural, cultural and historic landscapes as a backdrop. Learn more about the Photo Safaris.

Coastal Trails Coalition
The Coastal Trails Coalition, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist in the development of the Coastal Trails Network, a 30-mile system of interconnected foot trails and bikeways throughout the lower Merrimack River Valley communities of Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport and Salisbury. Launched in 2003, Essex Heritage, with early assistance from the National Park Service Rivers and Trails Program and Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, provides leadership and technical support in the areas of visioning, outreach, and project development and implementation. Visit the Coastal Trails Coalition website.

Heritage Landscape Inventory
Twenty-four communities participated in a unique, year-long program that brought together those interested in preserving the built environment with those working to protect land. Through a local developed inventory process, information and recommendations pertaining to threatened or unprotected heritage landscapes such as farms, cemeteries, rail corridors and "water's edge" properties are being incorporated into local and regional smart growth plans.

Affiliation with the National Park Service
One of the most unique benefits that Essex Heritage provides to this region is the ability to partner with the National Park Service.  This special public-private relationship allows Essex Heritage to develop educational and interpretive programs with Park Service staff and resources that bring history and environmental stewardship to life for people of all ages and backgrounds. Essex Heritage is particularly excited about current pilot programs that are designed to engage underserved, urban youth in natural resource and ocean stewardship within and beyond the Park boundaries. Read more about our successful partnership with the National Park Service in youth engagement initiatives such as First Bloom, F1rst Jobs and America’s Best Idea.

Alliance of National Heritage Areas
The Essex National Heritage Commission has successfully built a thriving network of partnerships and collaborations, which have become an important catalyst for regionalism amid the independent interests of the 34 cities and town we support. The ENHC is at the table or leading the discussion on all issues of significance to the heritage resources in Essex County.
To accomplish our mission the Essex Heritage is committed to building:
• Public awareness of these heritage resources through public events and activities;
• The capacity of non-profit and public organizations who own or manage these resources;
• Connections to the next generation and to more diverse audience;
• Partnerships to develop new resources and assets for the region to embrace.
Please help us continue this tradition of excellence and leadership. Your financial investment will enable you to:
• Increase local stewardship of the Area's important historical, cultural and natural resources;
• Encourage efficiencies and effectiveness in local non-profit organizations by supporting the training programs and partnership offerings;
• Enhance and expand program offerings run in partnership with the National Park Service that promote the region’s rich Maritime Heritage.

North Shore Medical Center in Salem has announced a plan to enhance their Salem campus
The local Salem medical facility that has served the Witch City for a number of years is improving its campus with a new state of the art Emergency Room and 90 patient rooms in a new tower building.   The Hospital that has an affiliation with the Partners Medical Group is a major contributor to the medical programs in this region.

Danvers Council on Aging and the most active Senior Center on Stone Street to Offer new much desired program
The Danvers Council on Aging is in the final stages of establishing an Adult Day Care Program on two days each week for 15 people.  For more information or to reserve a spot that are filling fast contact the Town of Danvers Council on Aging at , the director of the Center and  the new program.

New Communication Sources
The Danvers Rail Trail has created a new program. We have recently learned of a new communication program in the region created for smart phones and tablets that outline all of the features of the Danvers Rail Trail.   The program points out rest areas and travel directions.
Federal Shutdown ends just in time to help Salem as it Celebrates Halloween
The government shutdown ended just in time to be most beneficial to the thousands of Halloween visitors to the Witch City.   That was a blessing to a community so financially dependent on this time of the year.

Holiday Concerts Scheduled
In December there are a number of concerts planed in the region.  Watch for local publications for complete schedules to make your plans.  Two events and details are as follows:

St Richard’s of Danvers will hold its annual Sounds of the Season on December 8, 2013 featuring the North Shore Philharmonic at a FREE concert at the church at 4:00 PM.   The only contribution to attend is a gift of non-perishable food that will be presented to the Danvers People to People Food Pantry.  The event is sponsored by the Living Legacy Financial Group and C.R. Lyons Funeral Directors.  The event is chaired for the church by John Call who can be reached  at 978-739-900   The second event scheduled is a series of dinners and concerts priced most fairly at Peabody City Hall on December 7 and 8.

We certainly do not want to let one of the most festive of the Holiday Periods in this country pass by without offering our best wishes to all of our readers as they celebrate the end of the Year Holidays.

White House Disability Issues
As a person challenged with a disability, I present the following from the Federal Government for your information:
            On November 1, disability, veterans, civil rights and business leaders joined Vice President Joe Biden and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett at the White House for conversation regarding the Administration’s strong support for ratification of the Disabilities.  During the meeting, the Vice President pointed out that the United States has long been a global leader in promoting equality and dignity for people with disabilities. He reinforced the Administration’s commitment to carrying forward that important legacy by urging Senate approval of the Treaty. He also noted that ratifying the Treaty would help ensure that Americans with disabilities, including our veterans and wounded warriors, have the same opportunities to work, study, and travel in other countries as any other American. Click here for the readout of Vice President Biden's Meeting on the Disabilities Treaty.

For more on Vice President Joe Biden and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett Disabilities Treaty meeting please check out White House blog post by Stephen Pomper with the White House National Security Staff. In addition, Judith Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the State Department also published a blog post yesterday.

Anniversary of the Death of President Kennedy
During the week before Thanksgiving 2013, the world paused and commemorated the 50th assignation of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas Texas.   The reminders and the services and pictures presented were most moving.  The memories of that fateful day brought back numerous reminders of the moving ceremonies and the events that marked that tragic times of that slain president.   For adults of my age the assignation of the president was a stark reminder of a most chilling time and the numerous accomplishments of President Kennedy were brought back to the top of mind awareness and many of the actions of that elected official were remembered. The entire commemoration recalled President Kennedy’s call for more public service efforts by the citizens of this country.  His famous call to service that called for us all not to ask what our country can do for us but rather what we can do for our country was recalled and featured.

Danvers Historical Society to Offer Designer Showcase at Glen Magna in Danvers
To celebrate a half century of the stewardship of the Glen Magna Mansion the Danvers Historical Society will offer a designers showcase at the historic Glen Magna Estate from December 1, 2013 until December 15, 2013 from 10 am until 4 pm.   The event is sponsored by Designer Bath, Landry and Arcaro, Fireside Catering, North East Community Bank, and North Shore Magazine.   The event will feature designs and decorations from over a dozen or so nationally known designers and artists.   Tickets to the event are priced moderately considering the quality of the show and what the society will do with the proceeds to further its mission.   To purchase tickets or for more information call 978-777-1666 or contact the Society at www. DHS a@ Danvers  Volunteers are still needed to help with their showings.  E-mail Laura at for available time slots.  Many hands make light work. 

Also new to the Museum Store in the Page House: the 2014 calendar “Celebrating 50 years of Stewardship at Glen LOCAL sports Magna Farms” and the 2013 ornament “Days Potato Chips”

Keep informed through the Danvers Historical Society  blog at

Local Sports and Other Personal Observations
Several local area high Schools did very well in the 2013 in the State Playoffs specifically Masconomet and Bishop Fenwick High Schools.  Both schools can win a division title at the super bowls.

The Danvers Falcon Field Hockey team won more games than they lost, but they did not do that well in the playoffs   We were very pleased to learn that our granddaughter Katherine Leonard was named both a Salem News and a Northeastern Conference All Star for her team play and a most productive nineteen goal regular season.  CONGRATULATIONS KATE. 

The Red Sox World series win was sensational for the region and the many fans of the team.  They clearly outperformed their potential. The Patriots had several recent wins in a slightly weakened NFL and they will have a chance to shine in the playoffs if they do not slip at the end of their season. The Winter sports teams representing Boston are off to a reasonable and expected start, but the Bruins will get it together as the season continued, but the Celtics have much work to do,

Personal Reading
I am currently reading a book written by Chris Mathews, from the staff of Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil , titled “Tip and  the Gipper” (President Reagan).   It is about the period when politics worked in Washington DC.  It should be read and emulated by every current Washington elected official. This is a book about how two stubborn Irishmen could put aside their differences to work together for the good of the citizens of the country.