Spring 2024 Update

Irish Literature: There is  increasing interest in Ireland and Irish history. Here are a few recently (2023-2024) published books for your “must” read Irish history list.

  • Belfast: The Story of a City and Its People” by Feargal Cochrane a Belfast native, a Catholic who grew up in Protestant neighborhood during the 1960s. Cochrane tells the story of Belfast city and why the people there are the way they are. I read it and recommend it.
  • Becoming Irish American – The Making and Remaking of a People from Roanoke” to JFK by Timothy J. Meagher. I am currently reading this one and continuously finding new and interesting information on how Irish immigrants assimilated into a predominantly Protestant country.
  • Making Empire by Jane Ohlmeyer traces the ugly history of England’s domination in Ireland “underscoring the brutalities.”  Recently highlighted in the Wall Stret Journal, it is on my “to read” list.
  • Plentiful Country, The Great Potato Famine and the Making of Irish New York” by Tyler Anbinder (521 pages, $32.50). As hundreds of thousands of Irish became the “huddled masses” in a country ruled by nativists, this is the story of how despised immigrants overcame bigotry and prospered. The book concludes “This Celtic success is truly miraculous.”
  • Four Shots in the Night, by Henry Hemming (368 pages $32). Spies, murderers and statesmen conspire in the non-fiction account of the chess match played between British forces and the IRA during the Troubles up to and including the negotiations that led to the Good Friday Agreements. “The past is here and will not leave until it is seen” says Hemming.

Irish Community:

The Society was busy during Irish American Heritage Month. Presentations were requested by organizations in Annandale, Fredericksburg, and Lynchburg. In representing the Society and the AOH, each one-hour presentation was tailored to support the requesters’ interests. Coincidentally, the themes were similar: 18th and 19th century Irish immigration, why they emigrated, the challenges they faced upon arrival, and their legacies.

The Society is collaborating with the Shenandoah Gaeltacht in  promoting a Lá Gaeilge (Irish Day) on Saturday, November 2, 2024, in Front Royal VA and related projects.

The Society’s  Col. John Fitzgerald statue fund needs about $50K to commission the statue. We deeply appreciate donations received and encourage all Hibernian divisions and individual Hibernians to consider donating to this approved and worthy cause.