The Finnegan Clan

Finnegan is an Irish surname coming from the Gaelic Ó Fionnagáin, meaning “son of fair-haired.” James Joyce immortalized the name for all time in his 1939 novel Finnegans Wake. But literary giants aside, Finnegan is one of the most recognizable Irish surnames of our times. The Finnegan clan’s ties to America have only bound more tightly since the election of Joe Biden as the 46th...

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My Great-Grandmother Discovered

Submitted by Robert F. Lyons, Kennebunk, Maine It was the accidental discovery of a vintage photograph, which enabled me to meet my first Irish-American relative, my great grandmother, Ellen Whelan Lyons of Co Waterford, Ireland.  At a family reunion in South Dakota, my cousin, John Maloney, had tossed out on the table a bushel basketful of old photos. My wife Nona...

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Pennsylvania’s Irish and the
Founding of the State

Joe Biden’s nail-biting Pennsylvania win was just the latest episode in Pennsylvania’s rich Irish American history. BY TOM DEIGNAN You can take the boy out of Scranton.  But Scranton still helped put its most famous Irish Catholic boy – Joe Biden – into the White House. The 2020 presidential election famously came down to a handful of states – including...

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The Catalpa Rescue

In 1876, a daring escape from an Australian prison colony by six Fenian prisoners was masterminded by the revolutionary and journalist John Boyle O’Reilly. Story by Donald J. Magilligan The sailing triumph of the Catalpa and the daring escape of six prisoners from an Australian prison dates back to 10 years earlier, 1866, to the failure of the Fenian rising in Ireland, when they were...

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Recently Published Books
of Irish Interest

Reviews by Darina Molloy Big Girl Small Town by Michelle Gallen Writer Sinead Moriarty has probably gifted Big Girl Small Town with the best synopsis ever – “Milkman meets Derry Girls. A cracking read’ – which is proudly emblazoned on the Irish version of the cover. Majella is one of those outliers – ignored by most people, and reasonably content to potter on with her life. She...

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