Mike McCormack's Blog (29)

Sligo's John Patton: Revolutionary War Hero

Many Irish who contributed significantly to this nation have been undeservedly excluded from the pages of our school’s history books and their stories remain untold. One such is John Patton. Born in 1745 in County Sligo, John immigrated to Philadelphia about 1765. He met and married Jane Davis on 7 March…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on October 1, 2021 at 10:00am — No Comments

Two of America's Irish Heroes

In September 1862, two Irish-born men were about to put their lives on the line for their adopted American nation.  One was Dennis Heenan from Borrisokane, County Tipperary who arrived in Philadelphia in 1839.  He joined one of the many Irish militias defending Irish neighborhoods from the bigoted…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on August 30, 2021 at 12:30pm — No Comments

The Galloping Hogan

After Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland, more than 40,000 Irish were relocated west of the River Shannon by the end of 1654. Those who weren’t were press-ganged into the British Navy or sold as indentured servants to the colonies. There was one group, however, who refused either. They eluded capture in the…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on July 31, 2021 at 2:30pm — No Comments

The Sing Sing of the IRA

During Ireland’s War of Independence from 1919 to 1921, the people supported the patriot cause and the new, if not British approved, Irish parliament – Dáil Eireann and its administration. Part of that administration was a system of Courts to hear and adjudicate legal issues. The people’s support of the court system was as strong as…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on July 16, 2021 at 10:30am — No Comments

It's a Celtic Feast

Like their economy, which was based on planting, growing and harvesting, the Celtic calendar was centered around the Sun and agriculture and determined by a lunar calendar. The four major feasts were…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on October 30, 2016 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

A Sincere Reply Regarding 'America's Birthday and the Irish'

It been a while since anyone held my feet to the fire over what I wrote, but Patrick O'Toole questioned some of the facts in my 7/5/16 blog America's Birthday and the Irish. I can assure you that none of the information I…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on August 4, 2016 at 4:30pm — 2 Comments

Bridie Halpin: Irish Patriot

Fifteen days before Christmas 1988, "Aunt" Bridie Halpin died. At 85, she had lived a good life, but it was still sad for the Halpin family for their Bridie was the beloved matriarch of the clan in America. The first to come over, she had emigrated to New York in 1946. In turn, she…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on March 5, 2015 at 12:30pm — 6 Comments

The Women of Erin

During a 1986 interview with 1916 patriot Sam O’Reilly for the Irish Echo newspaper, Sam excused himself to retrieve some notes.  At that point, his wife Mary whispered, "Mike, would you ever tell our story?"  I said, "Sure, you mean you and Sam?"  She replied, "No, I mean…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on February 28, 2015 at 1:30pm — No Comments

'The Great Hunger' -- How Many Died?

The Great Hunger was a natural calamity which was made into an appalling disaster by a selfish lack of assistance on the part of the British Parliament. Their disregard for large-scale human suffering in the land that they had made part of their empire only 44 years earlier bears…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on January 20, 2015 at 3:30pm — 4 Comments

Irish-American New Year's Traditions

New Year’s eve had been celebrated with cheerful noise for many years, but in New York City on December 31, 1888, that all changed with the formal addition of music to the annual celebration and it took an Irishman to do it. In those early days, the tiny triangle of land at the…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on December 24, 2014 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

George Washington's Irish Christmas Present

As Christmas approached in 1776, George Washington and his…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on December 16, 2014 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Special Yuletides in Irish History

In 1587, the English inside the Pale (a fortified district around Dublin) were concerned about the Irish whom they had not yet brought under their control – especially in Ulster. The Ulster clans were an independent lot, and something had to be done to insure their non-interference…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on December 8, 2014 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Lights From Christmas Past

There are more than just Christmas lights illuminating the darkness as the sun rises on the Winter Solstice in Ireland. On December 21, a marvelous event occurs at Bru na Boinne. On a hill in the Boyne Valley of County Meath stands a complex of three monuments to the early…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on December 5, 2014 at 9:30am — 3 Comments

The Irish Christmas Wreath

The modern Christmas wreath demonstrates the spirit of the season, but to some it is also a reminder of another spirit – a spirit that demonstrated courage and fortitude dating back to 17th century Ireland, when the Penal Laws forbade the practice of the Catholic religion. Not only…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on December 1, 2014 at 12:30am — 16 Comments

The True Story of Thanksgiving

History, as written, is not always accurate. Revised versions of past events are often presented to support conclusions already reached - political or otherwise. Sadly, many of these revised versions are presented as fact in our school books like the discovery and conquest of…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on November 21, 2014 at 3:00pm — 14 Comments

Halloween: It's a Celtic Feast!

May I respectfully add my…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on October 14, 2014 at 2:00pm — 3 Comments

The Irish in Labor

by Mike McCormack, AOH National Historian

In 1913, William Martin Murphy fired all his employees who had joined the Irish Transport and General Worker's Union led by James Larkin and James Connolly and urged other Dublin…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on August 30, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

To Commemorate or Not

One hundred years ago was a great time to be in Ireland to paraphrase Thomas J. Clarke who had been sent by Clan na Gael leader John Devoy to revitalize the dormant IRB.  Clarke was, of course, talking about the rising nationalist sentiment…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on August 21, 2014 at 3:00pm — 2 Comments

America's Birthday and the Irish

At the dawn of what was to become an age of rebellion, Thomas Jefferson said, Rebellion is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government. The American revolution of 1775 to 1781 was the inspiration for rebellions across the world from France in 1789 to Ireland in 1798, again…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on July 4, 2014 at 9:00am — 6 Comments

Count George Noble Plunkett -- A Special Father

On Fathers Day we remember our own, and other special fathers. There are also special fathers in Irish history. In fact, if you examine the background of many of Ireland's patriots, you will find the strong influence of a nationalist father. But there is one, in particular, who did…

Continue

Added by Mike McCormack on June 1, 2014 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

The Wild Geese Shop

Get your Wild Geese merch here ... shirts, hats, sweatshirts, mugs, and more at The Wild Geese Shop.

Irish Heritage Partnership

Adverts

Extend your reach with The Wild Geese Irish Heritage Partnership.

Congrats to Our Winners

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2021   Created by Gerry Regan.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service