Quinnipiac University is better known nationally for its political polls rather than its academic excellence.
That’s why one must assume it had its finger on the public’s pulse when it decided against reopening its “Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum,” located in Hamden, CT.
The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown forced the Museum to shut down last year.
The University’s board of trustees have voted to keep the Museum’s doors locked, which is a slap in the face to 35M Irish-Americans.
The Museum honors the memory of the 1M Irish men, women and children who starved to death from 1845 to 1852 due to the failure of the potato crop and genocidal policies of the ruling English. Another 1M emigrated from Ireland.
Opened in 2012, the Museum claims its works by eminent Irish and Irish-American artists over the last 170 years represents the “world’s largest collection of Great Hunger-related art.”
Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s former taoiseach (prime minister) and then transport minister, officiated at the opening.
Ireland’s government helped fund a Museum exhibition that toured Ireland in 2019. The collection also was on display at Ireland’s New York consulate.
The University is tossing overboard the goodwill generated by the Museum.
John Lehey, former president of Quinnipiac, was the driving force behind the Museum. He retired in 2019.
He told the New Haven Register the Museum provides an “international brand and identity” for Quinnipiac and that its themes “of a people’s encounter with bigotry and hatred are universal.”
The University says it is looking for a new home for the Irish collection.
“Quinnipiac is in active conversations with potential partners with the goal of placing the collection on display at an organization that will increase access to national and international audiences about Ireland’s Great Hunger,” said a statement provided to O’Dwyer’s by John Morgan, associate VP for PR.
Quinnipiac says it will continue to fund research at Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute and maintain a collection housed at the Lender Special Collection Room of the Arnold Bernhard Library on the Mount Carmel Campus.
The Irish Voice fears that Quinnipiac may unload the Museum’s collection to an entity that may break up or sell its contents.
The University is blundering into an unnecessary PR crisis. Reopen the Museum.
What was Spike Lee thinking? The Brooklyn filmmaker had featured 9/11 conspiracy theorists in the final installment of his four-part “NYC Epicenters 9/11-2021” series to be aired next month on HBO.
He interviewed members of the nutjob “Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth” group, which spread the garbage that the World Trade Center was destroyed by controlled demolition and not by aircraft.
In giving them facetime, Lee justified the group. He then set up a false equivalency situation by including interviews with scientists who trashed the notion that 9/11 was an insider job.
The Architects and scientists shouldn’t be on the same set, Spike
The filmmaker defended his work, telling the New York Times on Aug. 23 that he survived past criticism of his films “Do the Right Thing” (racist), “Mo’ Better Blues” (antisemitic) and “She’s Gotta Have It” (misogynist).
He said it was up to viewers to make up their minds about 9/11. After reviewers hammered Lee for showcasing the 9/11 debunkers, Lee caved and is re-editing the last episode.
How out of touch could Spike be?
His endorsement of the 9/11 conspiracy spreaders is a boost to those who deny the results of the 2020 election and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Does Lee want to be a leader in the army of truth-deniers that is ripping the nation apart? One wonders if Lee has gotten his COVID-19 shot, or is that going to be part of his next documentary?
HBO also doesn’t emerge from the Epicenters mess smelling like a rose.