Opinion: 13 Irish people BC should have booked instead of Enda Kenny

So unless you literally just woke up, you already know that Enda Kenny will be the commencement speaker for Boston College's Sesquicentennial Class. And unless you have literally no friends, you know that people are upset about it to say the least.

gavel4My first reaction to the news was, "Wait, they spelled Obama wrong." My second reaction was, "or maybe they spelled Bill Clinton wrong." My third, ongoing reaction is to SMH @BostonCollege over and over and over and over again. My shaky computer screen is making me dizzy. But I must soldier on! We seniors must let BC know just how disappointed we are in this commencement speaker, a dude who almost none of us have heard of before.

We are not unreasonable, BC. We understand that you have financial constraints. We understand that sometimes the POTUS's schedule is too packed to fit us in (times have changed since JFK came in 1963, after all). We even understand that sometimes you just have to get an Irish guy instead of an American, you know, just because.

So we will meet you halfway. Even though it may be too late – although you teach us to never say never and ever to excel – here is a list of 13 Irish people we'd rather you book than Enda Kenny. Not because we necessarily understand your desire for an Irish speaker, but because in all honesty, the list of people of any nationality would be much, much too long.

13. Bob Geldof

If the name looks unfamiliar, you may better know him as "the guy who founded Live Aid." You may think we've selected him for this list because he would give a stirring speech about charity and goodwill, but you'd be wrong. We just hope he brings along his much more famous musician friends.


12. Cillian Murphy

Let's be honest. It is hard for an American to think of 13 household Irish names. However, Cillian Murphy's is definitely a household face. I guarentee 100 percent that you definitely know him as Scarecrow from the Dark Knight trilogy, and as "the son who gets incepted" in Inception. Mr. Murphy would no doubt deliver a stirring, if a little bit creepy speech about mind control and wanting to break up your dad's energy empire to become your own man.

11. Van Morrison

Alumni Stadium. 2,500 people singing the chorus to this song like 25 times in a row. Can you say, "way better than listening to a speech?"


10. Peter O'Toole

A (very, very) elder member of Hollywood royalty. His most iconic role was in 1962's Lawrence of Arabia in which he played the title character, a British military officer who plays a very important role in helping the Arab people gain independence from the British Empire. His delivery of the "my name is for my friends" line is one of the first instances of BAMF-ness in film history.

9. Colin Farrell

Two ways Colin Farrell could work: One, he comes onstage smelling of whiskey and cigarettes and just kind of exudes Colin Farrell-ness for an hour. Two, he comes onstage in character as the guy he played in Horrible Bosses and makes us all realize how terrible graduating really, truly is.

8. Enya

Full disclosure: Emily Akin made me include Enya here. All I really know about her is that she did the whole Lord of the Rings soundtrack, and that she sued the Fugees for sampling one of her songs in "Ready or Not." Then, when Mario Winans sampled "Ready or Not" for his song "I Don't Wanna Know," it started a whole lawsuit domino effect. Maybe in the middle of her speech she could bust out the goofy instruments and bring out Lauryn Hill.


7. Kenneth Branagh

Check out Kenneth Branagh's Wikipedia page. No matter how much you think you know about Kenneth Branagh, you can't know everything about Kenneth Branagh. He is the greatest Shakespearean actor of his time. He played Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He directed Thor. Imagine him delivering his commencement address holding a skull in his hand like Hamlet, then pulling out his wand and conjuring up the Norse god of thunder. Sorry, Enda, we have a hard time picturing you doing anything that awesome on May 20.

6. Pierce Brosnan

Two words: JAMES BOND. Sure, he's at best the third-best Bond of all time (and probably more realistically the fourth best), but still. JAMES BOND.


5. Michael Gambon

Who? One word: DUMBLEDORE. If BC is actually Hogwarts, which it is, then no one is more fit to deliver this commencement speech than our true headmaster. Seeing as that guy doesn't actually exist, we'll settle for the guy who played him. Or J.K. Rowling (shh! only Irish people!).

4. Sinead O'Connor

What a perfect way for the university to recover from the scandalous Condomgate story (a story, by the way, that ended up on every website on the internet but Gavel Media's Marion Halftermeyer had first). If you somehow don't know, Sinead O'Connor is famous for two things: "Nothing Compares 2 U" and ripping up a picture of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live (go to 2:56 on the video below). The most awkward and profane commencement address ever given followed up by a live performance of the most tear-jerking song of all time set to a montage of pictures of us students all smiling together on campus, but everyone in Alumni is too horrified to even register it? How does that not sound like fun?


3. Daniel Day-Lewis

DDL is the greatest actor alive, period. He's the only dude to win the Best Actor Oscar three separate times, and he did it in three different decades. The best part is, he's notorious for never breaking character, so we could hire him and practically get any other person in the world. And I'm not just talking alive. By hiring Daniel Day, BC could potentially have booked the only available POTUS more awesome than the current POTUS – the greatest POTUS of all time. Ladies and gentleman, your 2013 commencement speaker: Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln!

2. Bono

The pretentiousness. Oh, the pretentiousness. Can you even imagine? We wouldn't just hear that we were going to change and save the world. We would hear how. Exactly. How. Then, at the climax of his speech, Bono would begin slowly clapping. He would tell us that every time he clapped his hands, a child in Africa had died.

And someone in the audience would yell at him to stop clapping. That person would win graduation.

Oh how I wish I'd come up with that joke. And how I wish to see it really happen.


1. Liam Neeson

Was this even a question? Did you question it? Why? How? ENOUGH! No more question marks! Liam Neeson doesn't ask questions! Liam Neeson knows everything!  And he would have told it all to us!


In all probability, Enda Kenny is probably just Liam Neeson deep in character as the leader of his homeland. Take solace, and prepare yourselves for May 20. The end is near and not even Liam Neeson can save us. Let's be real: that's the real issue with commencement.

Follow Robert Rossi on Twitter @RVRossi

Featured image courtesy of The Atlantic Wire.


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Rob hails from Lexington, Massachusetts and is a member of the Carroll School of Management Class of 2013, concentrating in Finance and Marketing. He joined the Gavel Media editorial board as a freshman and was Culture Editor during his sophomore year before assuming the role of Managing Editor in January 2012. He loves hip-hop, Dos Equis commercials, and talking to people about Tom Brady. Follow him on Twitter @RVRossi.