The Irish in America

Just around the corner…

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Adjacent to cemetery at Erke, County Laois

In less than a month, we leave for a two-week visit to Ireland.  Naturally, I can’t wait.  Although this is my seventh trip to Ireland, I think I am as excited as I was the first time I visited as a sixteen-year-old high school student in 1988.

Quite a bit has changed in the past twenty-three years, and each trip I’ve taken to Ireland has had its own unique flavor.  I have stayed in all types of accommodations (except this one…would love to try it!) and visited nearly every county in the Republic, as well as the North.

On previous trips, there may have been times when we’ve tried to do and see way too much, but not this time.  We are staying in the same place for the entire two weeks, and I am content to remain within a 15-mile radius of our rented house.  I will have everything I love in Ireland in that zone – brown bread, ruins, a good pub (or two), family, farmhouse ice cream, chocolate, a museum, and cows.  Now, the ice cream is a bit outside of the 15-mile zone, but it is still in County Laois.

Can’t wait to see the McCormack relatives.  We will be a few short miles from the farm my great-grandfather left behind when he came to America at the end of the nineteenth century.  My dad has been in touch with more relatives in the area, so he is planning another get-together (read about our first adventure in entertaining back in 2009 here.)  This makes me a little nervous…maybe last time was a case of beginner’s luck?

I am excited for Tuohy’s Bar, and I hope we can make it to the Monday night sing-a-long on our first night in Ireland.  I have never quite mastered the tricks to dealing with that initial day of jet-lag.  I never know if it is best to take a nap at some point and risk not waking up or to power through and nearly fall asleep at dinner.  I don’t want to snooze away my first day in Ireland, nor do I want to be so tired I see double.  Maybe I will actually get some sleep on the plane this time!

A bit of a diversion during the next month or so as we look at some Americans in Ireland, but I will also keep my eye on the Irish in America…


Author: Aine

I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota. My heritage pretty much covers the map of Ireland: great-great-grandparents from Cork (Crowley, Foley, Regan), a great-great-grandmother from Clare (Quinn), a great-great-grandfather from Fermanagh (McMahon) and his wife's parents from Mayo (McAndrew), a great-grandmother from Connemara (Hannon) married to my great-grandfather from Laois (McCormack), great-grandparents from Sligo (Flannery), and a great-grandmother from Kildare (Hill). All of those people ended up in Minnesota, where my four grandparents were born. Three and four generations after my people left Ireland for America, I retain all Irish heritage. So much for the melting pot...

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