The conflict in Korea has been called “The Forgotten War.” The conflict lies buried in the shadows of the global magnitude and populism of World War II and the media scrutiny and violent class of ideologies that defined Vietnam. Even the then Commander-in-Chief President Truman appeared to trivialize the conflict by referring to it as [...]
As the events following the Easter Rebellion in 1916 show, there may be a reason why the statue of Justice on the gate of London Castle looks at her sword rather than the scales of Truth and Fairness
The following resolution declaring March 2013 as Irish American Heritage Month in New York was prepared by the Rockland County Hibernians and brought to the floor by NY State Senator David Carlucci and passed by the NY Senate. (Note President Obama also declared March as Irish American Heritage Month Nationally) LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION memorializing Governor [...]
Fr. Francis P. Duffy, the Regimental Chaplain of the 69th, has the distinction of being the most decorated Chaplain in the history of the United States. Fr. Duffy’s efforts were not just confined to the fields of WW I France, we was a tireless campaigner to see that Irish American and Catholic patriotism was recognized.
In December 1862, the American Civil War which at its start both sides believed would last only for a few weeks and be decided with one major battle was now in its twentieth month and had seen numerous battles and already tens of thousands of lives lost. Despites its numerically superiority in manpower, its overwhelming [...]
He was the most unlikely candidate to eventually earn the appellation of “The Father of Irish Republicanism.” He was Theobald Wolfe Tone.
A famous journalist once observed that “Disinformation is most effective in a very narrow context.” He knew that when events, especially historical events, are taken out of context their meaning and significance can be completely distorted. Such is the case with the recent fascination of the media with the events concerning the NY Draft Riots [...]
When someone wants to quickly set an atmosphere of “Irishness”, whether it is a major motion picture or a local Irish restaurant, they invariably use the same element: music. Music is an essential element of Celtic life; the harper, piper and the fiddler holding a place of honor and esteem. Wherever the Irish have traveled [...]
Very few remember that nine of the men who signed the document that is arguably the greatest statement of freedom ever penned, the Declaration of Independance, were Irish Americans.
There once was a time when Irish giants roamed the earth; their feats of strength and courage becoming legendary. However, these were not the mythical Cuchulain, or Finn McCool; they were real men who pushed the boundary of what was thought to be humanly possible. They were known as “the Irish Whales” for their size and strength and they dominated the strength events of the Olympics for the first part of the twentieth century. This was in an age when Olympic athletes were held to a strict amateur code, there were no high priced endorsement contracts, and more than a few of these “gods of the arena” could be found pounding a beat on the streets of New York when not competing. None was more renowned among these giants than Matthew McGrath.
To achieve this honor in battle is exceptional enough, to earn this award when armed only with one’s courage and faith is extraordinary. One such extraordinary man was Fr. Joseph T. O’ Callahan, S.J .
The following resolution declaring March 2012 as Irish American Heritage Month in New York was prepared by the Rockland County Hibernians and brought to the floor by NY State Senator David Carlucci and passed by the NY Senate. LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim March 2012 as Irish American Heritage Month [...]
Irish American immigrant John Phillip Holland is consider the “Father of the Modern Submarine”, though he is often overlooked in History.
While many remember the contributions of MacDonagh, MacBride, Connolly and Pearse to Ireland’s fight for freedom, many of us do not remember the change that would be brought about by another man: Thomas Ashe.
John William Finn was the last surviving recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions rendered at Pearl Harbor. His Medal of Honor Citation concludes that Finn’s actions were “in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.” His example of service and dedication, both in military and civilian life, are also in keeping with our highest traditions as Irish Americans and Hibernians.
When we think of courage, our mind naturally drifts to people who brought their lives in harms way for the sake of others. Less often do we think of courage in the moral sense, to do what is right irrespective of the personal consequences. Both forms or courage are rare, and even rarer is the person who embodies both of them. Such a person was Irish American Michael Corcoran.
It is somewhat strange that the media, which loves to tell stories of injustice, shies away from Ireland and its troubled history though there is plenty of material to chose from. One story in particular from Ireland’s past stands out as having all the elements that would make for a Hollywood Oscar winner, a story of a good man condemned by a government conspiracy using fraudulent evidence and the testimony of a man as evil as the victim is good. It is the story of St. Oliver Plunkett and Titus Oates.
On April 23rd, the second of NY’s militia units, the 69th drawn from NY’s Irish American Community, marched past what is now Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral to waiting ships that would take them south and to the war’s first battle at Manassas. The Irish Americans of the 69th likely shared the eternal belief of soldiers marching off to war before and since that it would be a “short war” and “they would be home soon.” None of them knew that many of their ranks would never return and that this was the start of the bloodiest four years in American history. On that day, the 69th was marching into history and legend as the first regiment of what would later become the famed Irish Brigade.
This year marks the 95th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Despite such a milestone anniversary, it seems to have passed by with little recognition. Perhaps this is because some of the “politically correct” insist on drawing parallels between the action of April/May 1916 and unrest in our present day world. One has only to [...]
The commentator Walter Winchell paid tribute to the patriotism and courage of Irish Americans during his St. Patrick’s Day broadcast of 1945 observing: “You can’t strike the American Flag without expecting to get hit back by some Irishman.” Perhaps Winchell was thinking of the uncertain days when an ill prepared America was thrust into a [...]
The Christmas Season is a time of paradoxes. As the days get darker and colder, our spirits grow brighter and warmer as we anticipate the divine contradiction of the King of Kings born in a stable, It is also a time when we proclaim good will toward our fellow man. It is therefore appropriate at [...]
In WW I, the New York Irish would once again prove 69th worthy of the title ‘Fighting 69th‘, and no one was more responsible for the regiments unequaled record in WW I than Col. William “Wild Bill” Donovan
Since the time of the Bards, the Irish have been proud of, and justly famous for, their command of language. Not only have they produced more than their fair share of writers but they have also contributed more than their fair share of words to the English language. In one case though, the Irish gave the oppressed of the world not only a word, but a means for all those who were downtrodden and oppressed to fight for their just rights against the powerful.
In the years following the missionary work of St.Patrick to Ireland, mainland Europe continued to slip further and further into the gloom of the Dark Ages. Only Ireland, which had transferred its ancient traditional love and appreciation of learning to the new faith and its classical traditions, was the flickering flame of civilization kept alive. [...]
It is unfortunate, when today so much effort is made to recognize the contributions of many different heritages to the fight for America’s freedom, that the overwhelming contribution of the Irish is still overlooked.
Nowhere was the fighting harder than the Battle of Iwo Jima, a battle where Admiral Nimitz later observed “Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue.” No one typified that valor more than Joseph Jeremiah McCarthy.
Legend says that Brian Boru drove the Vikings out of Ireland. While he didn’t drive the Vikings out, he did give Ireland a Golden Age and a vision of a unified Ireland under Irish government
Few moments in American history are more mythologized or more debated than those of the Seventh Cavalry at the Little Big Horn. Myth has the power to preserve the names of people who would otherwise be forgotten, but often at the price of losing the true person. One example of this is Irish American Captain Myles Keogh.
For many Irish Americans, the watching of John Ford’s ‘The Quiet Man” is as much a part of the tradition of St. Patrick’s Day as Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a part of Christmas. Both movies, depict an idealized time and place that was much simpler than today, or in fact ever was, [...]
They came in the thousands, stolen from their homeland and crowded into the dark, fetid hulls of ships. They were taken to a distant country and sold like cattle into brutal servitude to owners who had the complete power of life and death over their “property.” Many of us will recognize this as the images [...]
When most people think of immigration, our images are of smiling immigrants standing on the decks of ships clutching children and looking with hope as they sail past the Statue of Liberty. We think of the immigration center of Ellis Island as the “golden door” and the “Isle of Hope”. However, often overlooked is another [...]
The coming of winter and the lengthening nights have always been times where people have traditionally consider their place in the universe. Certainly this was true of the ancient Celts who built the oldest known observatory on the banks of the Boyne at Newgrange where for over 5,000 years the sunrise on the day of [...]
No less a person than Winston Churchill once observed “A nation that forgets its past is doomed to repeat it.” Though it is highly unlikely that Churchill was thinking of Ireland when he made this statement, no better example of the perils of forgetting the lessons of history exists. This is particularly true as regard [...]
September 17, 1862 has the sad distinction of being the bloodiest single day of fighting in America’s bloodiest war. Combined casualties at the Battle of Antietam were 26, 134. Few regiments suffered more than the Irish Brigade. The Irish Brigade had been the brainchild of their commanding officer Thomas Francis Meagher. The former “Young Ireland” [...]
In the later part of the 19th century, the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania was swept by hysteria over a secret Irish immigrant society, The Molly Maguires. Vilified by the establishment of the day, with time they would be seen as heroes of the labor movement and idolized as counter-culture heroes in a movie. Who though were “The Molly Maguires” and is either version correct?