The Irish American community is changing, in some ways for the better, with more inclusion and diversity. There is great strength, but there are also new challenges to the sustainability of its identity.
US immigration law is so restrictive it severely limits the flow of Irish people seeking to come here, set down roots, and help build community.
And there is the truth that the demand among the Irish to come to our shores and stay is not what it was. Ireland is no longer a poor country, and there are opportunities to go to other parts of the world now, in lieu of the US, should they wish to emigrate.
All communities need leadership. It is leadership that understands its community's strengths and who will also rise to meet its challenges. The Irish American community is looking to the next generation to see where that leadership lies.
Our centerpiece for our current episode, Sophie Colgan, is one such candidate for leadership. She has all the right stuff.
Straight out of the foot of the Mourne Mountains!
For those who cherish the link that American has with Ireland, that are proud of the major role a small island in Western Europe has had in shaping the great story that is the United States, the emergence of a new generation containing the likes of Sophie, is a welcome development.
The torch is being passed, to echo the words of JFK.
Listen to Sophie's adventures in her relatively short time in New York, to her brave and principled stand on important issues, and to her thoughts for her own, and for our bright future: