Edition Cover

History-Cover-Test

History Archives

Top Stories

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

More

In This Issue

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

One of the most iconic images from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor shows the explosion of the U.S.S. Shaw, a destroyer named for Captain John Shaw, a decorated early U.S. Naval officer who was born in Laois. Full image below.

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, Ginny Carpenter, Cole Porter, and Sara  Murphy.

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

Shanley being congratulated by Mayor La Guardia, 1937. Photo: Library of Congress.

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, left, and Roger Casement.

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

St. Killian’s  altar in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fifth Avenue, New York City. Photo: Patricia Harty.

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

Donovan (right) and Fidel Castro in Cuba, 1963.

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

Frank Shouldice, and his 
father, Frank, at the 
unveiling of a plaque in Boyle, County Roscommon, in July. The plaque acknowledges the 
contribution made by volunteers from the area, including the author’s namesake, in the fight for Irish freedom.  (Photo: BoyleToday.com)

 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

Senator John A. Danaher, Republican of Connecticut,  in 1939. (Photo: Library of Congress)

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

Margaret Haughery's statue in Margaret Place in New Orleans.

“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

Peggy Ryan and Donald O'Connor The Merry Monahans.

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

An 1866 Fenian Bond. The $10 bond (about $270 in 2016,  adjusted for inflation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics)  is signed by Fenian founder John  O’Mahony, as “Agent of the Irish Republic.” Click below for full size.

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

Julia Frances Rohan (née Fraher), far right in the hat, pictured with her family outside her home in Boston.

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.

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

Burrishoole, Co. Mayo. The raised circular  embankment in the corner of this meadow is one of more than 1,800 Iron Age ring forts in Co. Mayo. All photos Ernie O'Malley.

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

Thomas Meagher, 1864.

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

De Valera's original birth certificate. Courtesy New York City Department of Records.

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

Annie Moore  and her brothers  Anthony (l) and Philip (r)  at Ellis Island (colorized).

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

John Barry, by Gilbert Stuart

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

In this 1944 photo Smoky tosses back her head and “sings” with Bill Wynne (left) and his buddy, Cpl. Donald Esmond in Nadzab, New Guinea.

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”

Kathy Buckley outside the 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

Civil War Photographer Mathew Brady was probably born in Ireland. Mathew Brady circa 1875. Library of Congress.

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

One of theunearthed headstones at Calvary Cemetery. Another 600-900 headstones are estimated to remain burried. Waltham News Tribune.

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

Titanic.

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

In search of Eugene O'Neill's family history.

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

Patrick Pearse's August 1, 1915 speech may have been the catalyst for the Easter Rising. (Wikimedia Commons)

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

Three firefighters from “Big Blue” FDNY Rescue 3 Co. in the Bronx. The company  lost eight firefighters who responded to the call on 9/11. (Photo: Peter Foley)

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

Margaret Sanger surrounded by  supporters.

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

Sarah Churchill, Assistant to Ireland's Great Hunger Institute examines a photo of a Grey Nuns. Images by Johnathon Henninger

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

View of the statue “Waiting On Shore” from Coastal Walk, Rosses Point, Co. 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

Countess Markievicz in an Abbey performance, c. 1915.

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.  Photograph taken in 1882 by Napoleon Sarony. Albumen silver print. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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

The Bridge of San Luis Rey Cedric Gibbons THE 2ND ACADEMY AWARDS | 1930 Cocoanut Grove of the Ambassador Hotel Thursday, April 3, 1930 Honoring movies released from August 1, 1928 - July 31, 1929.

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

Family Resemblance? (Image of Fulmoth "Fully" Kearney (left) used with kind permission of Merlyn White)

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

Hoboken, New Jersey, c. 1919 – Soldiers on the USS Agamemnon cheer as they return home from battles in France. The deck of the ship is crowded with cheering soldiers. (Photo: CORBIS)

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

Detail of WWI memorial in Belmar, New Jersey. See below for full size. (Photo: Paul Goldfinger)

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

Brooklyn, 1974. Photo: Danny Lyon / EPA / Wikimedia Commons

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

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

Left: Lucky pig charm carved out of Irish bog-oak (Catalogue #EPH 3473). Right: Marble four-leaf clover lucky charm belonging to an unknown soldier (Catalogue #EPH 3464). Images © IWM.

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

The Singhbhum Craton of Odisha where the paleosol (foreground) was discovered.

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?

Launt Thompson in an undated photograph.

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

The US submarine boat Holland I, with its crew.

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

Battle of Somme

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

Guinness is better for you

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

A group of nineteeth century Irish Argentine immigrants

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

Lola Montez 1847

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

Oscar Wilde and Doc Holliday

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

800px-'Battle_of_Clontarf',_oil_on_canvas_painting_by_Hugh_Frazer,_1826

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

A train bound for the Midwest, c. 1920. National Orphan Train Complex Archives.

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

Roscommon Society marching on Fifth Avenue, NYC, in the 1957 St. Patrick’s Day Parade

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

Some of the founding Friendly Sons. Top row: Thomas Fitzsimons, Stephen Moylan and John Barry. Bottom Row: John Dickinson, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne and Robert Morris.

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 Kelly's depiction of General Philip Sheridan's famous 1864 ride to the Battle of Cedar Creek.

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

Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, where many famous Irish and Irish Americans were laid to rest. Courtesy of Green-Wood.

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

Joseph P. Kennedy.

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

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Photo: Library of Congress.

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 Silver Kings: James G. Fair, James C. Flood, John W. Mackay, and William S. O'Brien.

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 casts of Copper (left) and Blue Bloods (right).

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

The Michael Dougherty memorial in Bristol, PA. Photo: Google Images.

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

A portrait of Rex Ingram, with an autograph from Rex to a fellow Irishman, Bill Lynch: "From a harp to a harp."

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

A rare copy of the 1916 Proclamation

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

Hat in hand, Honey Fitz waves to his fans at Fenway Park.

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

The Winged Fist Team, 1909. Courtesy of the American Irish Historical Society.

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

Christine Kinealy. Photo by Peter Wolf.

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

Margaret Tobin Brown, "The Unsinkable" Molly Brown. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

“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

Bram Stoker portrait from 1906. From Wikimedia Commons.

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

The annual Timoney Bell ringing Titanic memorial in Addergoole, Mayo.

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

Mass in a Connemara Cabin, by Aloysius O'Kelly. Courtesy of the McMullen Museum.

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

The RMS Titanic. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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

The Battle of Ridgeway. An 1869 illustration from Library Archives 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 White House Fountain Turns Green For St Patrick's Day. Photo by Lawrence Jackson.

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 casket containing the reliquary of St. Valentine, Whitefriar Street Church, Dublin.

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

Shane Cullen's memorial to The O'Rahilly, containing the words of his last letter to his wife.

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

A scene from The German, by Nick Ryan.

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

Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Sean McCann shows the new online military archives to Mary-Clare Collins-Powell, the grandniece of Michael Collins.

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

John Wayne dukes it out with Victor McLaglen in The Quiet Man.

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 Foley. Photo courtesy of Catherine Clark.

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

Jim and John Concannon

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

Colonel Robert Gould Shaw Memorial in Boston, completed in 1897 by Dublin-born sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

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

"Return of the 69th (Irish) Regiment, N.Y.S.M. from the Seat of War,”  by Louis Lang at the New-York Historical Society’s renovated building reopening on Nov. 11."

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

Sidney Olcott on set in Ireland with actress Valentine Grant, whom he would later marry. See bottom of page for more photos.

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 dig site on the grounds of St. Patrick's Church in Lowell, MA

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

The Dondea Forest Park September 11 memorial to firefighter Sean Tallon and all of the other public servants who lost their lives in the Twin Towers.

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 Kennedy leaving Ireland from Shannon Airport during his 1963 visit.

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, The Liberator

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

An early mug shot of 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

Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind

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

John McDermott, picture with his 1911 U.S. Open trophy.

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

"A Donnybrook at Dusk" by Bradley Shmel; Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher; Savage Station, Virginia. Union field hospital after the battle of June 21.

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

An artist's interpretation of The Hannah

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 Dickinson-Williams mansion in Greeneville, Tennessee. Photo courtesy of Phil Gentry, Greeneville Sun.

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

W.B. Yeats and his muses: with his wife, George Hyde-Lees; Olivia Shakespear; Maud Gonne; Iseult Gonne.

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

War and Peace

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

Children in Galway, silver print, c. 1930. The Sean Sexton Collection.

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

The Mcnultys performing

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

Nuns and chldren at Sean Ross Abbey, which was sent the second highest numner of children after St. Patrick's Guild

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

A group of miners in Butte

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

Edgar Bergen with Charlie McCarthy, Diamond Jim Brady and Lillian Russell.

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

Ted Kennedy and family 2004

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

A monument to Bernado O'Higgins 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

Helen Keller and 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

The Battle at Gettysburg

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 blessing of the Celtic Cross at Grosse Ile

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

Immigrant women post in front of mission house

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

An Irish family 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

Merchant's Coffee House

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

Inscription inside Lincoln Watch

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

Andrew Rosemary Christening South St Seaport 2008

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

Croke Park in 1929

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

President Barack Obama

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

The Lisadell House ariel view

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

President Kennedy's appearance at New Ross Quay in New Ross, Ireland, 27 June 1963.

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 novel Galway Bay

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

John McCormack pictured by his piano

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

Famed author James Joyce

 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

President James Polk who declared war on Mexico

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

An illustartion of the Hannah ship

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

Mayor Richard J. Daley leading the St. Pat's day parade with Lord Mayor Robert Briscoe of Dublin, Ireland.

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

(Right): Hollywood legend James Cagney who had Irish roots.

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

Photo by Paula Geraghty

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

Sean Connery as Jack Kehoe in the 1970 movie The Molly Maguires.

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

A painting of Charles Carroll as a young man.

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

Commodore John Barry, “Father of the American Navy.”

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

Connie Mack, owner-manager of the Philadelphia Athletics. Derek Jeter, who has Irish heritage on his mother’s side.

 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

John Steinbeck

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

The Céide Fields Visitor Centre Photo- Courtesy The Office of Public Works (OPW) Ireland

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

Al Smith, the first Catholic to win a major-party presidential nomination, is credited with laying the ground work for FDR’s New Deal coalition in 1928, in which the Irish played a key role.

 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

Rural Ireland: The Inside Story

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

Mathew Brady’s Irish Mystery

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

Uncovering Irish History in Lowell, MA and Northern Ireland

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

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...

A Celtic Cross at Bunker Hill

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

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 Grey Nuns at Quinnipiac

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

Lincoln’s Watch Holds Message from Irishman

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

The Things They Carried

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

The Civil War Experience on Show

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

GAA Marks Its 125th Birthday

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

Important Items from Ireland’s Past at Auction

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

Every Oscar Is an Irish Win

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

Titanic Commemoration in Ireland

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

Brían Boru’s Last Battle

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

Trinity Geologists Rewrite
Earth’s Evolutionary History

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

John McDermott:
Golf Hall of Famer

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

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....

Forgotten Famine-era Graves
Discovered in Massachusetts

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