Submitted by Tom Loughlin Jr.

A screening of the film “How to Defuse a Bomb: The Project Children Story” was held March 19 at Le Moyne College.

According to the college, the film “tells the story of Irish immigrant Denis Mulcahy, who gathered a group of family, friends, and neighbors to start a scheme offering children from Northern Ireland a chance to temporarily escape the violent turmoil of their daily lives.

“From modest beginnings, Project Children ultimately brought more than 20,000 Protestant and Catholic children to the U.S. for summer-long visits where they forged friendships and found out how much they had in common.”

Presenting the documentary, voiced by actor Liam Neeson, was Le Moyne Professor of English Kate Costello-Sullivan. Attendees included Le Moyne students, sponsor families who had sheltered Irish youngsters for Project Children, and members of co-sponsoring groups — the Syracuse and Oneida County chapters of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Following the screening, Mulcahy invited longtime Syracuse Project Children coordinator Kathleen Kelly to the podium and honored her for decades of service to the work. Kelly attributed her inspiration to the Holy Spirit and encouraged all in attendance to pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance in their daily lives.

Mulcahy gave special credit to former Congressman James T. Walsh for his dynamic presence in the peace process in Northern Ireland. Walsh championed the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program, an exchange program for Irish adults to spend up to two years in the United States to gain cultural enrichment, gainful employment, and conflict-resolution skills. The program was named the “Walsh Visa” in his honor.

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