Irish American Heritage Museum

Irish American Heritage Museum The Mission of the Irish American Heritage Museum is to preserve and tell the story of the Irish people and their culture in America, inspiring individuals to examine the importance of their own heritage as part of the American fabric.

The work of the Museum is supported through a grant from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs "Emigrant Support Programme."

Operating as usual

#OTD in 1795 the Battle of the Diamond between Protestant Peep o' Day Boys & Catholic Defenders near Loughgall, Co. Arma...
09/21/2021

#OTD in 1795 the Battle of the Diamond between Protestant Peep o' Day Boys & Catholic Defenders near Loughgall, Co. Armagh left 30 Defenders dead & led to the foundation of the Loyal Orange Institution, later the Orange Order.

In the 1780s, Co. Armagh was the most populated county in Ireland & the center of the country’s linen industry. The population was equally split between Catholics who were dominant in the South & Protestants who were dominant in the North. Tensions between the 2 groups were rising, & relaxing of some Penal Laws, failure to enforce other laws & competition for jobs & business did not help. Land was scarce & wages were low, causing fierce competition in the cotton industry & to rent patches of land near markets. By 1784, actual fighting broke out between the gangs of Protestant & Catholics.

In the days leading up to the battle, both groups were spending time in the Diamond area, collecting weaponry & setting up camp. The day before the offense, Catholic priests & Protestant landowners were called together for a peace conference. There are mixed accounts of what went wrong, but the efforts of those at the conference were unsuccessful. On the morning of September 21, about 300 Defenders made their way away from their base, advancing towards the Peep o’ Day Boys’ territory. The Peep o’ Boys ultimately won the battle due to three crucial advantages: ground to place their muskets on in order to shoot more accurately, a steep uphill location, & a direct line of sight to the Defenders main base. By the end of it, the Defenders had about 30 casualties, & the Peep o’ Day Boys had none.

After this battle, the Orange Order was established by Peep o’ Day Boys’ leaders James Wilson, Dan Winter & James Sloan at Dan Winter’s cottage. They were a defensive association that pledged to “defend the King & his heirs so long as he or they support the Protestant Ascendancy”.

The winter of 1795- 1796 saw the Protestants drive around 7,000 Catholics out of Co. Armagh, which became known as the Armagh outrages. The exiling of the Catholics brought about a spread of Defenderism through Ireland.

#OnThisDay in 1827, Michael Corcoran, American Civil War Union General, was born in Carrowkeel, near Ballymote, in Irela...
09/21/2021

#OnThisDay in 1827, Michael Corcoran, American Civil War Union General, was born in Carrowkeel, near Ballymote, in Ireland. On August 30, 1849 he emigrated from Sligo Bay to New York City & found work as a clerk at the tavern, Hibernian House & he eventually married the owner’s niece Elizabeth in 1854.

He was enlisted as a Private in the 69th New York Militia & by 1859 he was promoted to colonel of the regiment. After refusing to march the regiment on parade for King Edward, who was a 19 year old Prince of Wales visiting New York City at the time, in protest of the British imposition of the Great Famine, he was removed from his command & pending trial when the Civil War broke out. He also became a member of the Tammany Hall political machine as he could deliver the Irish vote. He worked his way up to district leader, a member of the judicial nominations committee, an elected school inspector for his ward & a member of the 14th Ward General Committee.

Corcoran was reinstated to his command because of his ability to bring Irish immigrants to fight for the Union cause. He served for a while on the defensive in Washington D.C. He led his regiment in the 1st major battle of the Civil War, the 1st Battle of Bull Run & was taken prisoner. While locked up he wrote “One half of my heart is Erin's, & the other half is America's. God bless America, & ever preserve her the asylum of all the oppressed of the earth, is the sincere prayer of my heart."

Upon release Corcoran returned to the army & worked on recruiting more Irish volunteers, he took command of what would eventually be known as the Corcoran League. On December 22, 1863, at the age of 36 Michael Corcoran died of a fractured skull after being thrown from a horse.

His legacy lives on as he was often name dropped in many of the Irish Union ballads they used to sing & was idolized by his fellow Irish American troops. Some of these ballads include “America’s Irish Brigade”, “The Fighting 69th”, & “The Irish Volunteer” & many more. On August 22, 2006, NYC Mayor Bloomberg unveiled Ireland’s national monument to the Fighting 69th in Ballymote. “Michael Corcoran 1827- 1863” is inscribed around the top of it.

#OnThisDay in 1911, Anna Catherine Parnell, Irish patriot, and  Founder of the Ladies’ Land League, died of accidental d...
09/21/2021

#OnThisDay in 1911, Anna Catherine Parnell, Irish patriot, and Founder of the Ladies’ Land League, died of accidental drowning during her usual swim off the north Devon coast in England.

She was born on May 13, 1852 at Avondale House in Rathdrum, County Wicklow. She was the 10th of 11 children of John Henry Parnell, a landlord, and Delia Tudor Stewart Parnell, an Irish American and daughter of US Navy Admiral Charles Stewart. At the age of 7, her family moved to Dublin and Anna spent most of her life there. However, between 1865 and 1870 the family lived in Paris. At the early onset of the Franco- Prussian War in 1870 she helped raise money to set up hospitals with the American Ladies’ Committee.

After some time in London, Anna joined her sister F***y Parnell in New York in 1879. The sisters, alongside two of their brothers, raised money in support of the Irish National Land League but Anna did not like the way the American raised funds were being utilized in Ireland. In October 1880 the sisters founded the New York Ladies’ Land League with their mother as the president.

Just months later she returned to Dublin & Anna became instrumental in the movement against abusive landlords, encouraging women to withhold rent and resist eviction. She empowered women to participate in politics and activism through her founding of the Ladies’ Land League in January 1881, who promised support and relief to needy families.

Later in 1881, when the men of the Irish Land League were arrested, the women took over, and successfully kept the movement going. Anna travelled all over Ireland speaking at meetings, where she encouraged women to make their voices heard, not just “picking up the crumbs from the men’s table” as she would put it. She is remembered as the ‘Irish Joan of Arc.’ She disagreed with her brother Charles and he shut down the Ladies League. “The Tale of a Great Sham: The fury of Anna Parnell at the Land League’s ‘great sham’,” edited by Dana Hearne and Margaret Ward, was republished last year.

Today, she was commemorated with a plaque at the League’s original headquarters at the AIB bank on O’Connell Street, Dublin.

#OnThisDay in 1803, Emmet was executed in Thomas Street in front of St. Catherine's. He was hanged and then beheaded. No...
09/20/2021

#OnThisDay in 1803, Emmet was executed in Thomas Street in front of St. Catherine's. He was hanged and then beheaded. No one came forward to claim his remains out of fear of arrest.

Emmet's Speech from the Dock is especially remembered for his closing remarks. Historian Patrick Geoghehan has identified over seventy different versions of the text, but in an early printing (1818) based on notes taken by Burrowes, Emmet concludes:

I am here ready to die. I am not allowed to vindicate my character; no man shall dare to vindicate my character; and when I am prevented from vindicating myself, let no man dare to calumniate me. Let my character and my motives repose in obscurity and peace, till other times and other men can do them justice. Then shall my character be vindicated; then may my epitaph be written.

#OnThisDay in 1803, Emmet was executed in Thomas Street in front of St. Catherine's. He was hanged and then beheaded. No one came forward to claim his remains out of fear of arrest.

Emmet's Speech from the Dock is especially remembered for his closing remarks. Historian Patrick Geoghehan has identified over seventy different versions of the text, but in an early printing (1818) based on notes taken by Burrowes, Emmet concludes:

I am here ready to die. I am not allowed to vindicate my character; no man shall dare to vindicate my character; and when I am prevented from vindicating myself, let no man dare to calumniate me. Let my character and my motives repose in obscurity and peace, till other times and other men can do them justice. Then shall my character be vindicated; then may my epitaph be written.

Looking forward to this talk on October 5th with the Albany Firefighters Museum and Wayne Miller.
09/20/2021

Looking forward to this talk on October 5th with the Albany Firefighters Museum and Wayne Miller.

Excellent article here from Catherine Bateson, on one of the popular Civil War era ballads, featuring fictional Irish fi...
09/19/2021
Fictional Figures in Irish American Civil War Songs: Paddy O’Toole and Mister McFinnigan

Excellent article here from Catherine Bateson, on one of the popular Civil War era ballads, featuring fictional Irish figures – Paddy O’Toole and Mister McFinnigan – the stars of O’Toole & McFinnigan On The War, written first in 1861. Stay tuned for more posts from this exciting series.

In the first in an exciting new series exploring fictional figures in Irish American Civil War Songs, Catherine explores the characters of Paddy O’Toole and Mister McFinnigan: Back in June, I…

Fantastic day for the #AlbanyIrishRowingClub Regatta. We are always looking for new members. Especially cos #Pittsburg a...
09/18/2021

Fantastic day for the #AlbanyIrishRowingClub Regatta. We are always looking for new members. Especially cos #Pittsburg are winning!

Fantastic day for the #AlbanyIrishRowingClub Regatta. We are always looking for new members. Especially cos #Pittsburg are winning!

Join us online at 8pm for a conversation with producer Brendan Fay about his new film Remembering Mychal. Part of our Ma...
09/16/2021

Join us online at 8pm for a conversation with producer Brendan Fay about his new film Remembering Mychal. Part of our Making Change: Irish Immigrant Activists Series which is partly funded by a grant from @humanitiesny

Join us online at 8pm for a conversation with producer Brendan Fay about his new film Remembering Mychal. Part of our Making Change: Irish Immigrant Activists Series which is partly funded by a grant from @humanitiesny

#OnThisDay in 1845, cultural nationalist, editor, composer and Young Irelander, Thomas Davis, died in Dublin aged 30.He ...
09/16/2021

#OnThisDay in 1845, cultural nationalist, editor, composer and Young Irelander, Thomas Davis, died in Dublin aged 30.

He was born in Mallow to a Welsh father and an Irish mother, through whom he was descended from the Gaelic noble family of O’Sullivan Beare. His father died one month after his birth and his family moved to Dublin where Davis was educated eventually being called to the Bar in 1838. He was a Protestant, and preached unity between Catholics and Protestants, establishing the Nation newspaper with Charles Gavan Duffy and John Blake Dillon. He was a huge supporter of the Irish language.

He was revered by Arthur Griffith, and Michael Collins said of him: “Davis spoke to the soul of the sleeping nation – drunk with the waters of forgetfulness.” Davis disagreed with O' Connell for instance, and believed that Ireland was in danger of losing its identity, and not just any hope of political independence. He encapsulated the impact of colonialism in the phrase “Anglicism has made us serfs, not a people.”

The revolutionary movement Young Ireland was inspired by his newspaper, The Nation, but its insurrectionary mission foundered amidst the chaos and despair of the Great Hunger. The real legacy of the organization and of Davis was in the journalism and creation of a nationalist literature which they were a key element in giving birth to.

Davis identified as the “master grievance” the fact that “Ireland exists, and her millions toil for an alien aristocracy, her soil sends forth its abundance to give palaces, equipages, wines, women, and dainties to a few thousands; while the people rot upon their native land. What trifling, what madness, what crime, to talk of prosperity from railroads, and poor-laws, from manufacturing experiments, and agricultural societies, while the very land, ay, Ireland itself, belongs not to the people, is not tilled for the people!”

He is the author of influential songs such as The West’s Asleep, A Nation Once Again and In Bodenstown Churchyard. He also wrote the Lament for Owen Roe O’Neill. "For freedom comes from God’s right hand, and needs a godly train / And righteous men shall make our land a nation once again.”

We are delighted to preview a screening tomorrow at 7pm of Remembering Mychal, a film about @FDNY chaplain Fr. Mychal Ju...
09/15/2021

We are delighted to preview a screening tomorrow at 7pm of Remembering Mychal, a film about @FDNY chaplain Fr. Mychal Judge by Brendan Fay @bfmirish and #Emmy award winning editor @EdCaraballo as part of our #MakingChange #IrishImmigrantActivism series, partly funded by @humanitiesny There will be a discussion, which we can stream online, after the film. The film will be screened IN the museum only.

The son of immigrants from #Leitrim, Fr. Judge ministered to the homeless, the hungry, recovering alcoholics, people with AIDS, & the LGBTQ+ community in #NewYork. Chaplain to the New York City Fire Department, Fr. Mychal Judge became the first certified fatality of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The photograph of Judge's body being carried out of the rubble by first responders became one of the most famous images related to 9/11, dubbed an “American Pieta.”

He was a close friend with prominent gay Catholics like Brendan Fay and pioneer priest John McNeill. Judge continued to be an advocate for human rights throughout the rest of his life, marching in Pride parades, supporting Lavender and Green Alliance and marching in the first St. Pat’s For All in March 2000. Fay said, “Mychal Judge had a heart as big as new York – there was room for all of us. He lived the peace prayer of St. Francis. His ministry was about love and compassion.”

The film includes music by Mary Courtney and prominent Irish American community voices including Pete Hamill, Malachy McCourt and Mary Somoza.

This event is part of a broader series we are holding called Making Change: Irish Immigrant Activism, which is partly funded by Humanities New York with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Please call 518 427 1916 or email us at [email protected] if you would like to attend, as seats are limited. In compliance with CDC, state, and City regulations, all audience members must remain masked while in the museum.

#OnThisDay in 1865, the offices of The Irish People newspaper, the official organ of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, w...
09/15/2021

#OnThisDay in 1865, the offices of The Irish People newspaper, the official organ of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, were raided.

Earlier republican newspapers like the United Irishman, The Irish Tribune, & The Irish Felon, were suppressed in 1848 after their writers - Young Irelanders - were accused of promoting sedition. James Stephens was a Young Irelander and part of that rebellion who fled to France after its failure. In 1856, he returned to Ireland and made connections with former rebels. Two years later, he founded the Irish Republican Brotherhood (I.R.B.)

In mid-1863, Stephens informed his colleagues he was starting a newspaper, with financial aid from John O’Mahony and the Fenian Brotherhood in America. The offices were established at 12 Parliament Street, almost at the gates of Dublin Castle. The first edition of the Irish People appeared on 28 November 1863. The staff of the paper along with Charles Kickham, were Thomas Clarke Luby and Denis Dowling Mulcahy as the editorial staff. Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa and James O’Connor were in charge of the business office, with John Haltigan as the printer. John O’Leary was brought from London to take charge as Editor. Shortly after its establishment, Stephens departed on an American tour to attend to organizational matters.

Dublin Castle discovered plans for a rising in Ireland, hatched in the US: letters and a £500 New York bankers' draft payable to Stephens' brother-in-law were found at Kingstown station in July. A police informer, Pierce Nagle, who was working for the People newspaper, turned in a letter to the Tipperary I.R.B. calling for a nationalist uprising, resulting in the raid. The paper was suppressed by the Lord Lieutenant, John Wodehouse; Luby, O’Leary, O’Donovan Rossa and O'Connor were arrested and Stephens and Kickham joined them a month later. Stephens escaped from prison on 24 November. They were charged with treason felony - Isaac Butt defended them.

Luby, O'Leary and O'Connor received sentences of 20 years. O'Donovan Rossa was sentenced to life imprisonment, while the frail Kickham, near-blind and deaf, got 12 years.

The mission of Sober St. Patrick’s Day® is to reclaim the true spirit of St. Patrick's Day; the mission of the SSPD runn...
09/15/2021
Sober St. Patrick's Day​® Sponsors

The mission of Sober St. Patrick’s Day® is to reclaim the true spirit of St. Patrick's Day; the mission of the SSPD running club is to reclaim “Sláinte” — an Irish toast that translates to “health.” Being healthy is much more fun as a community. And so, in a sincere embrace and toast to health fueled by Irish culture, the saint himself, and healthy and safe celebrations, we are thrilled to launch the SSPD Running Club and invite you to run with us!​

SSPD Running Club plans Halfway to Sober St. Patrick's Day ® Sláinte 5k: Saturday, September 18th, 8:30 a.m. Mark your calendars and register to receive training tips and more information on Sober St. Patrick's Day® Sláinte 5k — to be held in NYC on Saturday, September 18th! Check out the link below!

https://www.soberstpatricksday.org/5k.html

Sober St. Patrick's Day​® 5K - Halfway to Sober St. Patrick's Day. 5K Run/Walk in Central Park, NYC. Saturday morning, September 18, 2021.

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New Location for the Irish American Heritage Museum, Albany.

The mission of the Irish American Heritage Museum is to preserve and tell the story of the contributions of the Irish people and their culture in America, inspiring individuals to examine the importance of their own heritage as part of the American Cultural mosaic.

For centuries, they left because they couldn’t stay, or because they wanted to go, or a combination of both. Community became very important to the new arrivals, and so Irish immigrants gathered together in slums near the port or traveled further to meet family members or neighbors who had made the journey earlier and could help give them a start.

They experienced prejudice, hardship, trials, and sometimes good fortune. In turn, some of them displayed prejudice, wrestling for position in often-ruthless cities. Many served their new country in the military, some became labor leaders, politicians, teachers, and innovators. Some achieved great fame, others infamy. Most would remain nameless, living ordinary lives, proud of their heritage, working hard, and becoming American.

Although this museum tells the story of the Irish in America, with a few changes, it could tell the story of almost any immigrant. It is the story of leaving home and family to build a life in a new place. It is a testament to the courage of those who faced the unknown and conquered fear and discrimination to become Americans.


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I saw Origin Theater's presentation of Rory Duffy's film "Belfast and Brexit; A Fragile Peace" yesterday. A remarkably good look at the past and present of the situation.They showed the first thirty minutes of the film followed by a discussion between Ambassador Nancy Soderberg and Professor John Watson of NYU. Soderberg was very much involved from the early meetings up to the actual Good Friday Agreements. She was well worth listening to.The current situation re: the Border is very tricky. Let us hope that a peaceful resolution will come soon and that ultimately we will have a united Ireland. I am looking forward to seeing the complete film. Things have come a long way since the early sixties.
Are you tired of trying to think of something to make for dinner during COVID? Take the night off!! Come Support the Schenectady Hibernian Hall 1748 State Street, Schenectady Dinner Fundraiser–Sunday, December 13th, 2020 Public is welcome for this dinner Take out only- pick up 2pm - 4pm or until gone ➢Complete corned beef and cabbage dinners: corned beef, potatoes, carrots, cabbage and homemade soda bread - $13.00 ➢Shepard’s pie- beef/veggie filling with traditional mashed potatoes, and homemade scone - $8.00 Enjoy a delicious meal and support a good cause!! Also looking for Volunteers to help with traffic, packing orders, and handling money. Contact Steve Mackey if you can help [email protected]
HeIloo i work with ophan and less fortunate children in Africa,we're currently in search and praying God to give us good heart people to support our program,most of the days our orphanage children are going without food,Convid-19 has greatly affected our normal running we urgently need help from well wishers ,may God bless and allow you to see this message,as we look forwad to hear from you.
Happy Birthday, Elizabeth! The museum is lucky to have you!!
Please enjoy my ten-minute short film entitled "Mersey Boys: A Letter from Al Moran." Shooting was done in Galway and Wicklow, Ireland in October of 2017. The cast included actors from Ireland, the United Kingdom and the USA. The story revolves around a fictional encounter between an Irish American college professor and three of the Beatles in a Liverpool pub, circa 1960.
Lucky him!
Does anyone know where you go tomorrow to get your bib for the race?
What time does the race start?
The castles of Ireland should be rebuilt this way!