Edition Cover

History Archives

Top Stories

A Long Day’s Journey:
New Ross to New London

James O’Neill had a remarkable life, emigrating from Ireland at the age of five, abandoned by his father at 10, raised by...

More
The Long Shadow of 9/11

Ongoing health conditions, ranging from cancer to pulmonary diseases, caused by working at Ground Zero cast a shadow on...

More
The Fabulous Murphys

Gerald Murphy and his wife, Sara, were the golden couple at the center of glamorous expatriate life in Paris and the Riviera...

More
Ireland at War: Photos from the Sean Sexton Collection

These rare photos from the Sean Sexton Collection chronicle the years of terror following the Rising when the Irish were...

More
The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick

The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, or The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for the Relief of Emigrants from...

More

In This Issue

Weekly Comment:
How the Irish Saved the Pilgrims and Started Thanksgiving

In 1621, the pilgrims, just arrived in the New World, had no idea how wild their new frontier could be. Winter arrived and with it came starvation, death, and the idea that maybe it was time to give...

More

Micheline’s March

This September, Micheline Sheehy-Skeffington, the granddaughter of Irish patriot Francis Sheehy-Skeffington (who was executed without trial by a British firing squad during the Easter Rising) and his...

More

Green Hills, White Houses

The 200-Year Relationship Between Irish Builders and America’s Capital ℘℘℘ In September, the James Hoban Societies of the United States and Ireland organized a day-long celebration of the...

More

Delta 13 Charlie: Reflections of an Irish Soldier in Vietnam

Michael Coyne is one of many Irish-born soldiers who served in Vietnam. A crewman on a Patton tank, he spent most of his time far from base on patrol in jungle and rice paddies.  ℘℘℘ M y name...

More

Custer’s Last Rally

The Battle of the Little Bighorn, the most significant engagement of the Great Sioux War of 1876, saw the defeat of General Armstrong Custer and his soldiers of the 7th Cavalry (many of them Irish)...

More

Hospitality and History in the American South

History abounds on a tour that began in Washington, D.C. and visited Civil War battlefields, colonial towns, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. ℘℘℘ As you might expect, Memorial Day weekend is a...

More

Tullaghoge Fort:
Home of the O’Neills

A memorial stone and plaque were unveiled to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Hugh O’Neill.  ℘℘℘ The re-opening of Tullaghoge Fort last June has brought one of Ireland’s most...

More

Wild Irish Women:
The Reporter Who Wouldn’t Go Away

Dorothy is Back! Dorothy Kilgallen was a TV and radio star, a columnist who wrote about theater and film, the rich and famous, but more than anything, she was a crime reporter who, at the time of...

More

The Forgotten Irish American Artist of the Capitol Building

Geoffrey Cobb writes about Thomas Crawford, who sculpted the figure of Liberty and Freedom on top of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.  Senate Pediment, marble, 1863, east front U.S. Capitol:...

More

Window on the Past:
The Georgia Healys

In antebellum Georgia, the Healy children, born legal slaves to an Irish immigrant father and his black common-law wife, had to be smuggled out of the state to avoid being sold into slavery. Several...

More

Weekly Comment:
The Great Tate Caper

On April 12, 1956, two young Irish men walked into the Tate Gallery in London with one brazen objective in mind – to seize an £8 million impressionist masterpiece in the name of their...

More

Jimmy McAleer’s Opening Day Legacy

The Irish American baseball legend who introduced the concept of the opening day pitch by the President of the United States. ℘℘℘ James Robert, “Jimmy,” McAleer, the youngest of eight...

More

Window on the Past:
The Battering Ram (Photos)

Sean Sexton’s photographic archive, considered the finest privately-held collection of Irish photographs in the world, provide a poignant photo-history of evictions in the final decades of the 19th...

More

John Ford:
A True Film Pioneer

Film director Martin Scorsese was honored with the John Ford Award at the annual Irish Film and Television Awards presentation in Dublin on February 25. Scorsese was a huge fan of Ford as he explains...

More

U.S.S. Mason Makes Historic Trip to Northern Ireland

Last year, the U.S.S. Mason arrived in Derry, honoring the crew of the ship’s World War II namesake, which made port in Northern Ireland in 1944.  ℘℘℘ Standing shoulder-to-shoulder, squared...

More

After the Rising

The soaring oratory of the Easter Rising Proclamation – “In this supreme hour the Irish nation must . . . prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called” – was followed by...

More

Ireland at War: Photos from the Sean Sexton Collection

These rare photos from the Sean Sexton Collection chronicle the years of terror following the Rising when the Irish were caught up in the War of Independence and the Civil War. ℘℘℘ You can read...

More

Wild Irish Women: Elizabeth O’Farrell – A Fearless Woman

An Irish nurse and member of Cumann na mBan, Elizabeth O’Farrell performed nursing and courier duties, delivering dispatches and ammunition to rebels over the days of the Easter Rising. She further...

More

150 Years:
The Fenians and Canada

One hundred and fifty years ago, members of the Fenian Brotherhood sought to force Britain’s hand by creating disturbances along the Canadian border. The raids failed, but they led to an unexpected...

More

Weekly Comment
Pearl Harbor and the
U.S.S. Shaw

Seventy-five years ago this week, the Japanese surprised the U.S. by attacking Pearl Harbor in the early hours of December 7th. One of the most iconic photographs from the from that day is of the...

More

The Fabulous Murphys

Gerald Murphy and his wife, Sara, were the golden couple at the center of glamorous expatriate life in Paris and the Riviera in the 1920s, with a social circle that included many of the great artists...

More

Dead Shot Mary

New York City police officer and detective Mary Agnes Shanley (1896-1989) was the first policewoman to use a gun in an arrest. She made over 1,000 collars in her career and, at just 160 pounds, had...

More

John Quinn: The Forgotten Irish American Nationalist

John Quinn, the unpretentious Irish American lawyer who funded the Irish literary renaissance by supporting Ireland’s leading writers of the day (including W.B. Yeats and James Joyce), is less...

More

Paddy’s Papal Absence

It sure was big news when Pope Francis, the first Latin American pontiff, was chosen. And there has been talk about the prospect of having a black or Asian pope. But amid the widening papal radar,...

More

The Real Life Story of Bridge of Spies Lawyer James B. Donovan

The Irish American New York lawyer who defended a Russian spy, and negotiated on behalf of the thousands of prisoners captured after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, is remembered by his...

More

2016: Reflections on a Centenary

 How the 1916 commemorations helped people connect on a personal level. “Everything is repeated, in a circle. History is a master because it teaches us that it doesn’t exist. It’s the...

More

Continuity and Change: The Irish Role in American Politics

For the second straight White House election, the Democratic and Republican candidates for vice president grew up in strong Irish American and Catholic families. Eyebrow-arching in itself, the fact...

More

The Mother of Orphans

“She was a mother to the motherless; she was a friend to those who had no friends; she had wisdom greater than schools can teach; we will not let her memory go.” – Sara Cone Bryant, from...

More

Roots:
The Unrelated Ryan Girls

Whether it’s stomping the boards on Broadway or on Hollywood’s silver screen, these girls all share a love of performance. Perhaps it’s in the DNA? ℘℘℘ Thinking about writing an article...

More

The Bonds of a Nation,
100 Years On

With the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising upon us, a curious piece of memorabilia printed 150 years ago reminds us that the Rising was not the only bid for Irish independence. In the possession of...

More

Dear Julia: Personal Peflections on 1916 and its Aftermath

A grandmother’s letters, passed down through two generations, offer a fascinating, and at times intimate, glimpse into the period following the 1916 Rising. Dermot McEvoy talks to Rosemary...

More

The Rebel Path

Ernie O’Malley was a renowned figure in Ireland’s fight for independence. Here are his memories of 1916 as compiled by his son Cormac O’Malley. ℘℘℘ Born in 1897 in Castlebar, Co. Mayo,...

More

Ernie O’Malley’s Mayo

County Mayo is largely a rural, wild, untouched landscape on the west coast of Ireland, but it has changed drastically over the years. The images in Cormac O’Malley and Juliet Christy Barron’s...

More

Thomas Meagher:
The Immortal Irishman

In the following excerpt from Timothy Egan’s new book on Thomas Meagher, the legendary Irishman arrives in New York City having escaped from the Tasmanian prison colony where he had been banished...

More

Digging Up the Past

Robert Schmuhl takes us behind the scenes on a decade-long research project that culminated in his book Ireland’s Exiled Children: America and the Easter Rising. ℘℘℘ Facts are stubborn...

More

Annie Moore’s Long Lost Irish Cousins

Megan Smolenyak writes about a decade-long search that finally turned up the Irish cousins of Annie Moore of Ellis Island fame. Thanks to improved access to a variety of resources, Irish genealogy is...

More

Famous Irish of the American Revolution

Irish nationals were instrumental in helping secure American independence from England during the Revolutionary War. Edythe Preet explores the key figures. ℘℘℘ John Barry County Wexford Driven...

More

Smoky the Lucky War Dog

The famous war dog who served in World War II, and Bill Wynne, the U.S. Army Air Force G.I. who adopted her. ℘℘℘ The first time Cpl. William Wynne saw Smoky, he found it hard to believe she...

More

Kathy “White House”

Were she alive today, the odds are that Kathy Buckley would be as well-known as celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson. Sharon Ní Chonchúir profiles the Irish woman who was head cook for...

More

Mathew Brady’s Irish Mystery

In August, a sign in Johnsburg, New York that claimed to mark the birthplace of acclaimed Civil War photographer Mathew Brady went missing. But in addition to sparking a search for the sign itself,...

More

Forgotten Famine-era Graves
Discovered in Massachusetts

An estimated 600-900 neglected and forgotten Famine-era graves were discovered in Massachusetts in September when Rhode Islander Annie McMullen was attempting to trace her husband’s Irish...

More

Rare Titanic Artifacts
Up for Auction

The Belfast-built H.M.S. Titanic was thought to be unsinkable after it set sail from Cobh, Co. Cork, on its fated maiden voyage. Of the roughly 2,220 people aboard the Titanic, around 164 were Irish,...

More

A Long Day’s Journey:
New Ross to New London

James O’Neill had a remarkable life, emigrating from Ireland at the age of five, abandoned by his father at 10, raised by a mother who spoke very little English. Yet, having little formal...

More

Weekly Comment:
August 1st May Have Changed Ireland Forever

By the turn of the 20th Century, new Irish rebellion movements emerged that inspired a collective longing for national independence. A political party named Sinn Fein fostered by Arthur Griffith...

More

The Long Shadow of 9/11

Ongoing health conditions, ranging from cancer to pulmonary diseases, caused by working at Ground Zero cast a shadow on celebrations of FDNY’s 150th Year. Ladder 123 is located on a gritty stretch...

More

Margaret Higgins Sanger:
Wonder Woman

Continuing her series on Wild Irish Women, Rosemary Rogers profiles Margaret Sanger, who devoted her life to legalizing birth control, and with the help of her sister Ethel, opened the first birth...

More

The Grey Nuns at Quinnipiac

A new exhibit on the Grey Nuns hosted by Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University opened April 1. A private event launching the exhibit took place on March 31 with the Canadian...

More

150 Years of Yeats’s Sligo

On the 150th anniversary of W.B. Yeats’s birth we look at some of the places in Sligo that inspired his best-loved poems. 1. BENBULBEN and DRUMCLIFFE CHURCHYARD: At his request, Yeats’s body...

More

The Rebel Countess

Rosemary Rodgers, continuing her series on Irish women of note, profiles Constance Georgine Gore-Booth, the social agitator and revolutionary who took part in the Easter Rising of...

More

Roots: Is Oscar Irish?

Oscar Wilde, the playwright, novelist, poet, and critic of world renown, has long been labeled Anglo-Irish, but an examination of his roots puts the question of Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills...

More

Every Oscar Is an Irish Win

How an Irishman Introduced Deco to Hollywood. Each year around this time the world awaits the presentation of the Hollywood awards in which the statue called “Oscar” is presented to those in the...

More

“Fully” Kearney: President
Obama’s Irish Ancestor

It was seven years ago when I identified Fulmoth Kearney of Moneygall, Ireland as the most recent immigrant on the maternal side of Barack Obama’s family tree. Inheriting land in Ohio from a...

More

Jersey Boys:
Irish Soldiers in World War I

America entered World War One on April 6th, 1917, and though the execution of the leaders of the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916 greatly angered the influential Irish-American community on...

More

War Numbers: Counting the Irish-born Dead in WWI

Megan Smolenyak delves into the archives and reaches the conclusion that many more Irish-born soldiers were killed in the U.S. Armed Forces in WWI than previous calculations have shown. As a New...

More

Forty Shades of Brooklyn

With a film version of Colm Tóibín’s 2009 novel Brooklyn, coming to American theaters later this year, Tom Deignan looks at the borough that was home to so many mid-century Irish immigrants. Back...

More

Made in (18th Century) Ireland

Tom Conolly of Castletown Hunting with his Friends, 1769. Robert Healy, Irish, 1743-1771. Grand-nephew of Ireland’s richest commoner Donegal-born William Conolly (1669) who went on to become Speaker of the Irish House of Commons. Very Rare and unique Pastel, chalks, and gouache on paper (20 1/4 x 53 1/2 in.) On loan from Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection.

The new exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690 – 1840, is a legacy tribute to the last Knight of Glin.  Popularly known as the “long 18th...

More

John McDermott:
Golf Hall of Famer

John McDermott is finally getting his due over a hundred years after he became the first American to win the U.S. Open national golf championship. Winning at the age of 19, he also remains the...

More

The Things They Carried

Connemara marble boot charm, carried by an Irish soldier (Catalogue #EPH 4892). © IWM What more fascinatingly intimate look into the lives of soldiers of WWI than a glimpse into the tokens they...

More

Trinity Geologists Rewrite
Earth’s Evolutionary History

Geologists from Trinity College Dublin have rewritten evolutionary history by finding that oxygen-producing life forms were present on Earth some three billion years ago – 60 million years earlier...

More

Whatever Happened
to Launt Thompson?

How one of the most important post-Civil War sculptors died in obscurity and is buried in an unmarked grave. Lancelot (Launt) Thompson was born in the town of Abbeyleix, in what was then Queens...

More

The Irish Man Who
Invented the Submarine

John Philip Holland August 12th marks the 100th anniversary of the death of John Philip Holland, a Clare man recognized as “the father of the modern submarine.” Much of Holland’s pioneering...

More

The Irish and World War I

One hundred years ago this summer, the story goes, a Daily Mail war correspondent named George Curnock followed British Expedition-ary Forces as they made their way across the English Channel to aid...

More

How Guinness Saved Ireland

At nearly one billion liters of Guinness sold per year, it has become one of the world’s most recognizable Irish brands. And though it is brewed in over 60 countries and available in more than 120,...

More

Salsa Verde: The Irish in Argentina

On the bicentennial of Combate de Montevideo, May, 1814, which won the River Plate and secured Argentina’s independence from Spain, Harry Dunleavy writes about the considerable contributions made...

More

Lovely Lola: The Countess Who Became the Vamp of the Mining Camps

There was a time in the mid-19th century when all Europe raved about the Spanish dancer, Lola Montez, not realizing that she wasn’t Spanish and couldn’t dance. She wowed them in Paris, London,...

More

Oscar & Doc: A trip to Leadville, Colorado

You hoist one of Colorado’s fine craft beers at the long, dark bar of the Silver Dollar Saloon in Leadville, and consider this possibility: had history played out a little differently, Oscar Wilde...

More

Brían Boru’s Last Battle

A thousand years ago, on April 23, 1014, the Battle of Clontarf, and Brían Boru’s last costly victory, changed Irish political life forever.  The following, from The Story of the Irish Race by...

More

The Orphan Trains

Over 250,000 children were transported from New York to the Midwest over a 75-year period (1854-1929) in the largest mass migration of children in American history. As many as one in four were...

More

The Fifth Province

There is a well-known Irish saying: ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine that can be loosely translated as “it is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” Particularly during acts...

More

William Mulholland Brought Water to a Thirsty Land

William Mulholland surveying land in California

On January 24, 1848 a handful of shiny metal found in the water channel below John Sutter’s lumber mill in Northern California launched the first world-class Gold Rush. Within seven years, the...

More

Reflecting on the Lock-Out

Crowds wait on the docks for food ships during the 1913 Lock-Out

A hundred years ago, The Lock-Out caused great turmoil in Dublin. It marked the beginnings of an organized labor movement in Ireland, and had a huge influence on the emerging Irish state. It’s a...

More

The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick

The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, or The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for the Relief of Emigrants from Ireland, was founded in Philadelphia on March 17, 1771 and continues on as a...

More

James Kelly: A Sculptor of American History

James E. Kelly, sculptor and illustrator, specialized in depicting people and events surrounding the American Civil War.  Historian and author William B. Styple discovered Kelly’s journals, which...

More

The Irish of Green-Wood Cemetery

From actors to Civil War heroes, many important Irish have been laid to rest in Brooklyn’s famous Green-Wood Cemetery. The Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, covers nearly five...

More

Joe Kennedy – The Hollywood Years

Movie columnist Tom Deignan examines David Nasaw’s book The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy with an eye to Kennedy’s time in Hollywood. The year was 1926,...

More

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Irish Mystery

As Sherlock Holmes fans celebrate the 125th anniversary of the novel in which Arthur Conan Doyle introduced his famous sleuth, Tom Deignan investigates the author’s Irish roots. The two recent...

More

The Silver Kings

The Comstock Lode in Nevada, uncovered in 1859 by two Irish laborers, ultimately produced more than $500 million worth of silver, a large share of which went to the Irish-American “Big Four” –...

More

The Irish Coppers

The evolution of the Irish-American policeman – in real life and on screen. In the classic 1954 Looney Tunes cartoon entitled “Bugs and Thugs,” everybody’s favorite animated rabbit gets...

More

An Irishman’s Civil War Diary

Michael Dougherty, a young Irish soldier in the American Civil War, kept a diary of his experiences, including the horrendous conditions endured in Confederate prison camps. Michael Dougherty, born...

More

The Silent Master: Rex Ingram

Rex Ingram: The clergyman’s son who became one of the biggest directors in Hollywood and discovered Rudolph Valentino. There would have been no shortage of Irishmen who came ashore in New York that...

More

Important Items from Ireland’s Past at Auction

Only fifty original copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic remain in existence. The proclamation, which famously called for a provisional government of the Irish Republic and...

More

Honey Fitz & Sweet Caroline: A Century of Fenway

The Red Sox and the City of Boston celebrate the 100th anniversary of one of  America’s most beloved ballparks. Honey Fitz, aka John Francis Fitzgerald, would have loved the pageantry of “Fenway...

More

The Glory Days of Celtic Park

One of the premier track- and-field training facilities in the world in its time, Celtic Park produced more than two dozen Olympic medalists who collectively won more than 50 medals for the U.S....

More

Ireland’s Citizen Chronicler: Christine Kinealy

Acclaimed scholar Christine Kinealy, whose work has shed new light on forgotten elements of Irish history, talks with Daphne Wolf about growing up Irish in Liverpool and her tireless research towards...

More

Margaret Tobin Brown: The Unsinkable Molly Brown

“I’m Unsinkable” Margaret Tobin Brown was reading a book in her first-class cabin on the Titanic when she heard a crash and was thrown to the floor by the impact. Pulling herself up, she...

More

Irish Dracula Author Celebrated 100 Years After Death

Dublin-born writer Bram Stoker, author of the famed novel Dracula, died in London at age 64, on April 20, 1912. Given that the vampire story, and the gothic in general, is currently seeing a...

More

Titanic Commemoration in Ireland

Belfast is abuzz in preparation for the upcoming three-week-long Titanic Festival, which will both commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the Belfast-built ocean liner and celebrate the...

More

Rural Ireland: The Inside Story

Boston College’s McMullen Museum of Art is giving visitors a rare look at the daily lives of Irish country people in the nineteenth century. Once thought to be an unpopular subject among Irish...

More

The Irish on the Titanic

Maureen Murphy explores the seldom-told story of the third-class Irish passengers on board the doomed RMS Titanic – some were survivors, others were heroes and victims. There has been no disaster...

More

The Day the Irish Invaded Canada

In the sleepy town of Ridgeway, Ontario – just a stone’s throw from Crystal Beach, the “Southern Shore of Canada” and former home to the Niagara region’s most beloved amusement park –...

More

Irish-American Heritage Month Announced by Obama

The first of March marks the beginning of Irish-American Heritage Month in the U.S., a time, according to President Obama, to celebrate the “indomitable spirit of those Irish Americans whose...

More

Dublin’s Shrine to Saint Valentine

The remains of the martyred saint are enshrined at Dublin’s Whitefriar Street Church Each year on February 14th and in the days and weeks leading up to Valentine’s day, visitor’s...

More

Save Dublin’s Moore Street – Last Battlefield of 1916 Rising

The last battlefield of the 1916 Rising’s heroes must be preserved. Moore Street, Dublin – for years the bustling site of flower markets and fruit sellers, but today the object of a fight to...

More

The German – Amazing Short Film on Ireland in WWII

The German is a stunning Irish short written and directed by Nick Ryan. The film, which was made in 2007 and went up online a few months ago, features a British fighter pilot in pursuit of a German...

More

Irish Army Archives to go Public

The Irish Armed Forces is about to make a huge volume of historical documents available to the public by putting them online for general access. Lieutenant General Sean McCann, Defense Forces’...

More

John Ford: The Man, the Icon

As Clint Eastwood receives the first John Ford Award, IA takes a brief look at the Ford’s legacy. John Ford garnered many superlatives to describe his lifetime of works. In a career that...

More

Jack Foley and the Art of Sound

Jack Donovan Foley, the American grandson of Irish immigrants, invented “foley art,” a sound-effects technique still used in films today – so subtle and perfect that viewers don’t notice...

More

An Irish Vintage:
The Concannon Vineyard

James and John Concannon uphold tradition at a winery founded by their Irish immigrant ancestor. The Concannon family has spent more than 128 years growing grapes and making wine in California, 42...

More

Civil War Memorials

Irish Sculptors Led the Way in Celebrating Civil War Heroes Magnificent in bearing, you find our nation’s unabashed heroes in Central Park and Lincoln Park, Boston Common and the National Mall....

More

The Civil War Experience on Show

Current exhibitions celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  The Return of the 69th On July 27, 1861, crowds massed along New York Harbor to welcome home New York’s 69th (Irish)...

More

Blazing the Trail to Ireland:
The Kalem Film Company

At the dawn of American cinema, when most film companies were already heading west to Hollywood, one company traveled east – to Ireland. The little-known story of the Kalem Company, or “The...

More

Uncovering Irish History in Lowell, MA and Northern Ireland

The Irish-American Heritage Archeological Program discovers Irish artifacts in Lowell, MA and Cosson, Co. Tyrone. Students and archeological experts from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and...

More

Remembering from Afar

9/11 Memorials in Ireland In the years since the attacks on September 11, 2001, memorials both big and small have been built throughout the United States and across the globe. The most immediate ones...

More

Presidential Visits to Ireland

President Obama’s visit brought the number of U.S. Presidents who have visited Ireland to seven. Tom Deignan looks back at some memorable visits and some that barely registered. Ollie Hayes...

More

The Irish Abolitionist:
Daniel O’Connell

Daniel O’Connell is remembered as the Liberator of Irish Catholics, but he also played a significant role in the movement to end slavery. On 23 May 2011, President Obama made an historic visit...

More

Outlaws: Billy the Kid and Whitey Bulger

The legendary Billy the Kid and the recently captured Whitey Bulger, both Irish American outlaws, share much in common in their lives on the lam.   Just as the infamous South Boston Irish mob boss...

More

Scarlett is 75 and Still Going Strong

On the 75th anniversary of the publication of Gone With the Wind, David O’Connell explores how Margaret Mitchell’s Irish background influenced her writing. Writing in the second edition...

More

The Forgotten Hero of Golf:
John McDermott

The first American golfer to win the U.S. Open — and the youngest. When Rory McIlroy walked down the 18th fairway at Congressional on June 19, the TV flashed a list of six young golfers who won...

More

The Irish Brigade: Heroes of The Civil War

As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of The Civil War, Matthew Brennan remembers the shining role of The Irish Brigade. Irish American actor Martin Sheen commented in an interview...

More

His Brother’s Keeper: Commodore John Barry

Commodore John Barry

John Barry, the father of the American Navy, went to seas as a child to escape the Irish penal laws and rose to command the entire U.S. fleet. Tim McGrath writes that Barry’s skills as a...

More

The Hannah: An Irish Odyssey

The story of The Hannah, an Irish famine ship that hit an iceberg in 1849, is now a documentary. John Kernaghan explains how it happened and how Irish America played a part. Paddy Murphy’s body is...

More

Corner of Ireland in America

The Irish Mansion in Greeneville, Tennessee. William Dickson left County Antrim, Ireland at the age of 16 for a better life in Greeneville, Tennessee. He succeeded. By 1796, when he was 21, he was...

More

The Muses of W.B. Yeats

The women who influenced the poetry of W.B. Yeats. It will come as no surprise to admirers of W.B. Yeats that this greatest of modern poets was a celebrant of the art of love from the beginning to...

More

War & Peace: Ireland Since the 1960s

Christine Kinealy’s newest book is destined to become a standard reference. Christine Kinealy’s background as a professor of history at Drew University and her past publications place her at the...

More

The Photo Historian of Ireland: Sean Sexton

Take an aerial view of a dreary road in Walthamstow, a soulless part of the East End of London, and you will easily spot which house Sean Sexton lives in. For there, nestled among the rows of...

More

The McNulty Family Show Boat Sails Again

One of the most popular entertainment groups from the 1920s to the 1960s, Annie ‘Ma’ McNulty and her children Eileen and Peter have largely been forgotten, but that may change soon. Known as...

More

The Legacy of Church-run Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland

In the wake of the Ryan and Murphy reports*, both released in 2009, often the memories of the children, women and workers involved have taken a sideline to the question of who is to blame for...

More

Butte: Montana’s Irish Mining Town

Many of the 1.8 million Irish who emigrated to Canada and the U.S. between 1845 and 1855 found employment in the dangerous but lucrative mines that played a vital role in building American industry....

More

Diamond Jim

The charmed life of James Buchanan Brady, who rose from humble origins to become one of the wealthiest men of his day. There have been many times in my life when a situation develops where I fear I...

More

Ted Kennedy, History Buff

As the first anniversary of  Ted Kennedy’s death approaches, Thomas Fleming recalls the late senator’s fascination with American history and his desire to share that love with America’s...

More

Salsa Verde: The Irish in Chile

I have been visiting Chile since 1991 and had learned quite a bit about Bernardo O’Higgins, who had a most significant impact on the politics and culture of Latin America and on Chile in...

More

Miracle Worker: Helen Keller & Annie Sullivan

The extraordinary story of Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller, including little-known facts about a trip they made to Ireland In 1930, a visitor to Ireland wrote to a friend: “You must see...

More

Gettysburg: America’s Preeminent Battlefield Shrine

When you go to Gettysburg, you trod hallowed ground where incredible courage under fire by Union and Confederate troops enshrined them in honor, glory and history. You do much more than make a trip....

More

A Celtic Cross at Bunker Hill

The Irish buried in a Catholic cemetery on Bunker Hill are remembered. The cemetery is gated and well hidden, and there have been no burials in it for three score years and more. It’s a lovely,...

More

The Mission Girls

UPDATE MARCH 2, 2012: The Irish Mission at Watson House Project intends to use the historical Mission premises for the permanent exhibition of Irish women’s emigration, a center to study the...

More

1969: A Crazy Year for Irish America

It is fitting that the 1969 Nobel Prize for literature went to the Irish playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett. After all, in works such as Waiting for Godot and Endgame, Beckett alternated between...

More

International Relief Efforts During the Famine

The Irish government designated 17 May 2009 as the first National Famine Memorial Day. On that day, Irish people throughout the world remembered and honored the victims of Ireland’s Great Hunger...

More

The Human Cry: An Appreciation of Francis Bacon

If, in 1964, you were to have asked me which two things excited me most, aside of course from ‘The Siren Call of Sex’ as the poet Philip Larkin put it, I would have answered, the Ronettes and the...

More

The Irish in Early Baseball

More than two dozen sons of  Irish immigrants, who played in the 1880-1920 period, are enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Many other great Irish players have made their mark on...

More

Trading With the Enemy: Irish Merchants

On November 2, 1759, a veritable riot broke out along several blocks of lower Manhattan. The target of the torch-bearing crowds was a man deemed to be a “rogue” and informer named George Spencer....

More

Lincoln’s Watch Holds Message from Irishman

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History opened Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch this past March, and discovered a secretly engraved message that turned an unsubstantiated family story...

More

McAllister Tug Boats

When Brian McAllister was coming of age in the 1950s all he cared about was playing basketball and chasing girls. However, over the years, he became the heart and soul of the business his Irish...

More

GAA Marks Its 125th Birthday

The Gaelic Athletic Association staged a spectacular fireworks dis- play at Croke Park in Dublin to commemorate its 125th anniversary since being founded in 1884 in Thurles, Co. Tipperary....

More

Obama’s Irish Roots: A House in Black, White & Green

When Barack Obama enters The White House as the 44th U.S. President, he will find that the Irish and African-American strands of his ancestry have been linked in many other ways throughout the...

More

Restoring Lisadell

A mansion in Sligo steeped in history lay in ruin, until one couple decided to revitalize this jewel of the western landscape of Ireland.  The old lady held her hands up to the flickering fire as...

More

Inside the Kennedy White House

When Barack Obama moved into the White House, many felt a sense of optimism despite the vast challenges facing America. Such feelings, naturally, recalled January of 1961 when, on a bright, frozen...

More

The Triumph & the Tragedy

Mary Pat Kelly’s new novel Galway Bay captures the essence of the Great Starvation and the 19th-century Irish-American experience. Ireland has a terrible history. As a kid in school reading about...

More

The Original Irish Tenor: John McCormack

The year was 1906. The setting was a stage in Savona, Italy, a northwestern port town south of Milan. The opera to be performed that particular evening was L’Amico Fritz by Pietro Mascagni, with a...

More

The Battle Over Ulysses

 The court case that changed the way Americans read. During a first-season episode of the excellent AMC TV series Mad Men, set in the New York advertising world of the 1960s, several secretaries are...

More

The Legacy of the San Patricios

To the Mexicans they were heroes. To the Americans they were traitors. They were recent Irish immigrants fleeing poverty and famine in Ireland who, motivated by discrimination in their own ranks, a...

More

The Tragedy of the Hannah

In April 1849, a ship carrying Irish immigrants hit an iceberg in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. John Kernaghan writes on the incident, and of plans for a documentary as Quebec celebrates its 400th...

More

Chicago and the Irish

Before he was president, Barack Obama was an ambitious young politician who learned a valuable lesson thanks to the Chicago Irish. The year was 1999. Obama, a state senator, announced he was going to...

More

The Irish in California

in 2005, when it became clear that the Ronald Reagan Pub in Ballyporeen, Tipperary was no longer a viable novelty to locals or tourists, Irish-American businessman and Republican booster Frederick...

More

The Save Tara Campaign

The harp that once through Tara’s halls The soul of music shed, Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls As if that soul were fled. – Thomas Moore The Save Tara Campaign spread its wings to New York...

More

Pennsylvania’s Irish

From the coal mines to Hollywood, the Pennsylvania Irish have shaped America for over three centuries. William Penn may have been a trailblazer when it came to American freedom and religious...

More

The First Family of Irish America

Back in July, Bronx Irish Catholic Edwin F. O’Brien, after a 40-year career as a priest, military chaplain and aide to two cardinals, was named the new Archbishop of Baltimore. The archdiocese...

More

Commodore John Barry

From Irish immigrant to Commander of the American Navy, John Barry is a hero to remember. There are many Irish men and women whom one could declare a hero of our time but none is so profoundly...

More

The “Emerald” Pastime

 Tom Deignan reflects on a time when many of the Boys of Summer had a touch of the Irish brogue. A recent New York Times article about the consistent success of the Minnesota Twins baseball...

More

Okie Faces & Irish Eyes: John Steinbeck & Route 66

The ad man knew what he was doing. Hired to write copy about a road that didn’t yet exist, he had an idea: create something out of whole cloth. He had as his subject an about-to-be-named...

More

The Céide Fields

Liam Moriarty explores the Stone Age archaeological wonder in County Mayo. When one thinks of Stone Age archaeological sites, Stonehenge, Altamira and Newgrange may come to mind. Most likely The...

More

The 1930s: When Irish Catholics Changed America

 Before the decade was over, America would be a vastly different nation,  thanks in no small part to Irish Catholics.  Nineteen hundred and twenty-eight was a dark year for Irish Catholics in...

More

Hibernia

The Save Tara Campaign

The harp that once through Tara’s halls The soul of music shed, Now hangs as mute on Tara’s...

The Things They Carried

Connemara marble boot charm, carried by an Irish soldier (Catalogue #EPH 4892). © IWM What more...

Trinity Geologists Rewrite
Earth’s Evolutionary History

Geologists from Trinity College Dublin have rewritten evolutionary history by finding that...

Brían Boru’s Last Battle

A thousand years ago, on April 23, 1014, the Battle of Clontarf, and Brían Boru’s last costly...

John McDermott:
Golf Hall of Famer

John McDermott is finally getting his due over a hundred years after he became the first American...

Important Items from Ireland’s Past at Auction

Only fifty original copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic remain in existence. The...

Rare Titanic Artifacts
Up for Auction

The Belfast-built H.M.S. Titanic was thought to be unsinkable after it set sail from Cobh, Co....

U.S.S. Mason Makes Historic Trip to Northern Ireland

Last year, the U.S.S. Mason arrived in Derry, honoring the crew of the ship’s World War II...

Uncovering Irish History in Lowell, MA and Northern Ireland

The Irish-American Heritage Archeological Program discovers Irish artifacts in Lowell, MA and...

Every Oscar Is an Irish Win

How an Irishman Introduced Deco to Hollywood. Each year around this time the world awaits the...

Green Hills, White Houses

The 200-Year Relationship Between Irish Builders and America’s Capital ℘℘℘ In September,...

A Celtic Cross at Bunker Hill

The Irish buried in a Catholic cemetery on Bunker Hill are remembered. The cemetery is gated and...

Lincoln’s Watch Holds Message from Irishman

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History opened Abraham Lincoln’s pocket watch...

Jimmy McAleer’s Opening Day Legacy

The Irish American baseball legend who introduced the concept of the opening day pitch by the...

Mathew Brady’s Irish Mystery

In August, a sign in Johnsburg, New York that claimed to mark the birthplace of acclaimed Civil War...

Tullaghoge Fort:
Home of the O’Neills

A memorial stone and plaque were unveiled to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Hugh...

GAA Marks Its 125th Birthday

The Gaelic Athletic Association staged a spectacular fireworks dis- play at Croke Park in Dublin to...

The Grey Nuns at Quinnipiac

A new exhibit on the Grey Nuns hosted by Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac...

Micheline’s March

This September, Micheline Sheehy-Skeffington, the granddaughter of Irish patriot Francis...

Honey Fitz & Sweet Caroline: A Century of Fenway

The Red Sox and the City of Boston celebrate the 100th anniversary of one of  America’s most...

The Civil War Experience on Show

Current exhibitions celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  The Return of the 69th On...

Titanic Commemoration in Ireland

Belfast is abuzz in preparation for the upcoming three-week-long Titanic Festival, which will both...

Rural Ireland: The Inside Story

Boston College’s McMullen Museum of Art is giving visitors a rare look at the daily lives of...

Forgotten Famine-era Graves
Discovered in Massachusetts

An estimated 600-900 neglected and forgotten Famine-era graves were discovered in Massachusetts in...