Our Pledge To You

News

Sneed: Former Irish president dropping in to raise money

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, will be in Chicago next week. | Sun-Times file photo

Begorrah!

Sneed is told Ireland’s former President Mary Robinson hits town next week to raise big bucks to build the country’s first presidential library.

Hers.

• Backshot: Robinson, who was Ireland’s first female president and served from 1990-97, made headlines in 1993 as the first serving Irish president to go to England and meet Queen Elizabeth in hopes of reconciling two countries with a troubled past.

• Upshot: The event was . . . tea!

“There are a lot of Irish-Americans in Chicago who would like to honor Robinson for her work during such troubled times, and a special City Council meeting is planned to present her with the city’s Medal of Merit next Wednesday,” a City Hall source said.

“She plans to build the library in her hometown of Ballina, County Mayo,” said attorney Tom Coffey, who is organizing two Chicago fundraisers the next day. “The library is expected to cost $10 million and the Republic of Ireland has already donated $2 million.”

• Robinson, who subsequently headed the United Nations Worldwide Hunger Relief Program, is now the U.N. Envoy for climate change.

A swift kick?

Well, I’ll be gobsmacked: Just when fans were dealing with news that singer Taylor Swift had dumped her latest in her long list of beaus, English hunk Tom “Night Manager” Hiddleston, after a mere three-week canoodle — comes word via the tittle-tattle press that Hiddleston gave the singer the skiddo! Heat Street claims the Brit actor has a three-month rule and out the door he goes.

Do tell.

OPINION

A whack job?

Hmmm.

Sneed hears House Speaker Mike Madigan is planning to ax former Gov. Pat Quinn’s two-term mayoral initiative when it gets filed.

• Buckshot: Madigan, the state’s powerful Dem party chief who equates Quinn to a slug, plans to work at squashing Quinn’s plan to impose a two-term limit on Chicago’s mayor — which he claims is the only big city in the country without it.

• Slingshot: Word is Madigan and Mayor Rahm Emanuel met for lunch recently downtown, and Madigan was overheard telling Emanuel he was going to kill Quinn’s term-limits initiative like he killed Fair Maps.

• Backshot: Last month, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a voter referendum-driven plan on the November ballot to change the state’s political boundaries.

Hoop scoop . . .

What’s up?

Movie dynamo Spike Lee will be there, but no current Chicago Bulls seem to have inked a “yes” yet to an invite to celebrate Saint Sabina’s 5th annual Peace Basketball Tournament on Sept. 17.

Or will they be surprise guests?

Thus far, the list of current and former professional basketball players who have signed up to join the brothers from the block are Isiah Thomas, Joakim Noah, Jabari Parker, Cappie Pondexter, Wayne Ellington, Tarik Black, Sonny Parker, Mark Aguirre and Bobby Simmons. And NBA Refs Jim Capers, Marc Davis and Danny Crawford will referee the free, open-to-the-public games, which will be held from noon to 6 p.m.

Sneedlings . . .

Grammy award-winning singer Yolanda Adams will be a special guest when Saint Sabina Catholic Church celebrates its 100th anniversary Oct. 29 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Wacker Drive. . . . Ciao! Archbishop Blase J. Cupich presided at the 35th annual Festa Della Famiglia outdoor mass in honor of San Francesco di Paolo in Stone Park recently and conducted half the service in Italian. . . . Today’s birthdays: Adam Sandler, 50; Michael Buble, 41, and JR Smith, 31.