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Celebrating Ethnic Voices_Appreciating Irish Heritage USA

Updated on January 26, 2013

Appreciating Irish Heritage in America (An Introduction)

In 19th Century America, 20 years before the Civil War, the great Irish potato famine drove thousands of immigrants to America, to the cities in the North and to the interior west of the Mississippi. Earlier times during the colonial period, many Irish Catholics had come here often as indentured servants. During this earlier period, Protestant Irish, the Scotch Irish also came and often settled in the Appalachian region of Virginia and surrounding areas.

Their contribution to American Folk Music and so called Country Western Music became a key folk music tradition of America that shaped heritage music in this geographic region and elsewhere in America.

Between 1820 and 1860, approximately 2 million Irish immigrants came to America, 75% after the Great Irish Potato famine. Many died while crossing due to disease and dismal conditions. These ships became known as the Coffin Ships. But those who made it, often settled in larger cities, New York, where they could maintain their cultural heritage and community

Today about 36 million Americans reports in the census to be Irish American, about 12%, the second largest ethnic group. Scott-Irish is about 3.5 million (1.2 %), together consists of the Celtic heritage of America. Only larger ethnic group in America is the German American.

Eight Irish-Americans signed the Declaration of Independence. 22 American Presidents, from Andrew Jackson to Barak Obama have been at least partially Irish. Much loved Presidents, John Kennedy and Harry Truman, recently were both of Irish American heritage.

Photo Gallery: Appreciating Irish Heritage USA

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Remembering the Irish in Defense of USA


The Irish Brigade was an infantry brigade, consisting predominantly of Irish Americans, that served in the Union Army in the American Civil War. The designation of the first regiment in the brigade, the 69th New York Infantry, or the "Fighting 69th", continued in later wars. The Brigade saw action in Virginia 1864 Campaign from Northern Virginia to Petersburg, and Richmond, Virginia. Many remain buried along with Confederate brothers today along the Civil War national parks from Northern Virginia battlefields at Manassass, Fredricksburg, and down to Petersburg, VA near Richmond. My Memoryland Virginia 1864 ( A CTV show pending)

In World War I, the 69th Regiment was organized with mostly Irish Americans, under the 10th Infantry Division .

In sports, the Irish brought their native games of handball, hurling and Gaelic football to America. Along with camogie, these sports are part of the Gaelic Athletic Association. The North American GAA organization is still very strong.

Literary figures of Irish in America are significant, includes two Nobel Prize winners who have produced important classics are playwright Eugene O'Neill, novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, social realist. 19th Century author Henry James, a part Irish, is still important in American literary heritage.

Spiritual heritage of Irish American is remembered by the St. Patrick's Day annually in many communities across America where parades and pagents keeps the Irish American heritage and ethnic voice alive in America.

Who was St. Patrick ? A fascinating story to help answer this question is a recent classic book, "How The Irish Saved Civiliaztion" by a scholar, Thomas Cahill (Anchor Book, 1995).

Here is my favorite quote from this book's Introduction :

" Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime, therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing that is true or beautiful or good in immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone, therefore we must be saved by love. Reinhold Niebhur

IRISH in America


Home of St. Patrick Remembered - Patron Saint of Ireland


Celebrating Ethnic Voices__Irish in America


My New Group at LinkedIn.Com. - Welcome !


Irish and Celetic Culture, music and Science appreciated and welcomed here

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I heard their music. I think they have similarities in little britain.

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      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      I love the Irish and Celtic culture ... and leprechauns too!