New York City is the adopted home of many famous Irish immigrants, some you may have never heard of. His father was from Co. Sligo while his mother from Co. Carlow. He shot to fame as his shows Riverdance and The Lord of the Dance became international sensations, making him a millionaire almost overnight. George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Nina Bruce (née Warren), a former beauty pageant queen, and Nick Clooney, a former anchorman and television host (who was also the brother of singer Rosemary Clooney). Read at least one of the following links, about Irish Immigration to the U.S., ... From the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Irish Immigrant Letters Home and Immigrant Ballads. As soon as she was old enough she started waitressing to fund her own flying lessons and persisted with her goals until she succeeded. John Ford: One of the greatest directors of Westerns in Hollywood history, John Ford was intensely proud of his Irish roots. Despite publically embracing her paternal French genes through Chanel suits and signature sunnies, Onassis’ mother, Janet, was of Irish ancestry. Not only beautiful, but she was also confident, passionate and ambitious and remains an inspiration to women all over the world. One of the most important industries of the island was the sugar industry. He has Irish, English, and German ancestry. After his mother died he was sent to foster care from which he soon absconded and took to a life of crime. The novel, which was later shown on screen, caused controversy among the Irish community but to many natives, McCourt was a brave hero who revealed the truth about the slums of Ireland and the cruel judgments that were often bestowed on starving families. The Irish have been leaving their mark on the Big Apple for a very long time now. The sheer numbers of Irish pouring into the U.S. meant that Catholicism was on the verge of becoming the single largest Christian denomination in America. He left behind blight, starvation and poverty and became one of many immigrant labourers in the city of New York. For more information see also: List of Americans of Irish descent. Irish-Americans are defined as American citizens with either full or part Irish ancestry of which they are usually extremely proud. She did, however, bring fresh energy to family values in America…perhaps suggesting she was influenced by her Irish heritage more than she let on? A legend of sorts, he was one of the first characters to display how wild Irish spirit meets all American Kid. Two of his best known films were set in Ireland too; The … His father, a troubled alcoholic from Co. Antrim, eventually abandoned the family while his mother continued to struggle to feed her four remaining children without any money. Over the years Flatley has had an extremely successful career, giving Irish dancing a fresh new appeal. Billy the Kid was born William Henry McCarty to an Irish woman from Co. Antrim. This is a list of notable Irish Americans, including both original immigrants who obtained American citizenship and their American-born descendants. The Irish-born population in America steadily aged and declined and, as Ireland developed, the nature of the new immigrants changed. We highlight the most inspiring experiences Ireland has to offer. Her name was Maureen O’Hara and she was Dublin born and bred. Alfred Emanuel Smith (1873-1944), the grandson of Irish immigrants, was the first Irish Catholic to receive the nomination of a major party (Democratic) in a presidential election; he was defeated by Herbert Hoover. By 1863, some 45% if Irish immigrants arrived in North America on steamships. "Comparative Physiognomy," a book by James Redfield published in 1852, made comparisons between the facial structure of Irish people and dogs. But while Bruce Springsteen is famously known to have been born in the USA his ancestry leads back to the Emerald Isle. Both the Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys travelled to the United States to seek their fortune during a time of poverty and depression in Ireland. Love him or loathe him, Irish-American dancer and choreographer Michael Flatley changed the world of Irish dancing forever. But her achievements were by no means complete and she went on to become an astronaut, becoming the first woman to ever command a U.S. spacecraft in 1999. The following is a list of select famous Irish Americans. Little did they know their family names would stand proudly in the White House through America’s 35th President. After time spent in the navy, where he learned to tattoo, he moved to New York. 17 Famous Immigrants Who Helped Make America Great Authors, inventors, designers. The following is a list of select famous Irish Americans. They arrived to seek opportunity, flee persecution or preserve their religion. Noted for her warm Irish charm, she spent much of The Kid’s childhood as a single mother. That is more than 5 times the amount of people living in Ireland altogether. He inherited his passion and no doubt some of his raw talents from his dance champion grandmother and set the bar for many budding performers. How to plan a trip to Ireland (in 9 steps), Irish boy names that nobody can pronounce. While most people are aware of her husband’s Irish roots Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ family history also leads back to Ireland. A Legacy of Celebration In 1979 the famous South Side Irish parade began with a crowd of local families marching through west Morgan Park, and it only grew from there. From 1770 to 1774 the human traffic peaked with the arrival of some 30,000 mostly Scots-Irish immigrants in America. 1.2 million Irish immigrants arrived from 1825 to 1970, and at least half of those in the period from 1831–1850.By 1867, they … Her heart lies in the fishing village of Howth on the North side of the capital but she can often be found in the West of Ireland indulging her fascination with the Wild Atlantic Way and her soft spot for Connemara ponies. Catherine McCarty had emigrated to America during the Great Hunger where she stayed until her death. Among the successful businessmen in this industry were Miguel Conway, who owned a plantation in the town of Hatillo and Juan Nagle whose plantation was located in Río Piedras. Bly was born in Pennsylvania during the American Civil War. She is now retired but remains a true hero in my book! Born and bred in Dublin there is nothing she enjoys more than writing about her homeland. In 1979 she made history when she became the Airforce’s first ever woman flight instructor. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the first Irish-Catholic president of the United States, was proud of his Irish ancestry. The Bronx is the only borough of New York City situated on the American mainland. At just 46 years old President Kennedy was assassinated and the success story starting with four Irish immigrants travelling across the Atlantic all those years before ended in tragedy. And although sailing across the Atlantic in the 19 th century presented many challenges, most Irish ships brought Irish immigrants safely to America to begin their new lives. The Original Irish-American perhaps? The Irish who immigrated to America in the mid-19 th century could never have imagined the impact they would make on American society. Irish immigrants typically began their long journey from Irish … The more adventurous chose … MCNY. May 23, 2017 The world can’t stop talking about immigration. Maureen O’Hara isn’t just one of the most famous Irish actresses to ever immigrate to the United States—she’s also one of the most famous Irish immigrants ever. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the first Irish-Catholic president of the United States, was proud of his Irish ancestry. She continued to work as a journalist until her death in 1922 and remains a celebrated heroine among women to this day. Ronald Reagan. Despite spending much of her childhood as a self-confessed ‘Tom Boy’ and being nicknamed ‘Baby Elephant’ as a toddler, O’Hara stole the screen and gave the Irish red-headed woman a whole new status. Descending from the Gerrity family in Co. Kildare Springsteen’s great-great-great-grandfather was, in fact, one of the brave survivors of The Great Famine who fled poverty-stricken Ireland before heading to America. The Great Famine of Ireland between 1845 and 1849 forced 1.5 million Irish people to emigrate and America was one of the places they left home for. Copyright 2013 Irish American Journey. To see more famous Irish Americans, click on one of the categories listed above. Money was tight during her childhood but her parents encouraged her dreams by taking regular trips to the airport to watch the planes. Her grandfather, Robert Cochran had emigrated to the United States from Derry in the 1790s. Notwithstanding the lack of trust between the predominantly Protestant America-born middle class and the impoverished Catholic immigrants who arrived in the mid-19th century, the main problem for the Irish immigrant was a lack of skill. With immigration controls left primarily to the states and cities, the Irish poured through a porous border. By 1866, this had increased to 81% and within another four years nearly all emigration from Ireland to Canada and the USA was made on steamers. Even pseudoscience got in on the act. See also the Journey to Ellis Island page for details of the passenger experience. Elizabeth Cochran Seaman accepted her claim to fame as investigative journalist Nellie Bly in the late 1800s. US history is full of immigrant contributions. Irish vaudeville often poked fun at their own stereotypes — and promoted many … There are more than 30 million Irish-Americans living in the United States. Share Share Tweet Email. (born in 1952) Senator Collins (Getty Images) Born into a political … So it is no surprise that there are many Irish-Americans who have changed the world in their own special way. It is an honest account of his poverty-stricken childhood in the lanes of Limerick during the Great Depression. Irish Immigration to America in the 1800's: US Immigration Laws and Ellis Island Immigrants were blamed for the high levels of unemployment following the Panic of 1873 as n early 1 in 8 Americans became unemployed.Calls for the government to curb Immigration began. Here are just 10 of our favourite unsung heroes. She went on to pursue a trip around the world in a bid to beat Jules Verne’s fictional character Phileas Fogg’s 80-day trip. He had paternal links to Counties Cork and Wexford while his mother’s heritage leads back to Counties Limerick and Cavan. His father hailed from Galway and his mother from the Aran Islands, and he often featured Irish immigrant characters in his films. Irish immigrants of the era mainly came from the countryside, where a rougher way of life, including drinking and clashes between rival clans, was common. You will find scores of famous. The Irish even founded two of Chicago’s major colleges, Loyola University Chicago and DePaul University. The flow of immigrants were better accommodated by Ellis Island, pictured here in 1907. Billy the Kid made a name for himself in the Wild West of New Mexico as a crook and a vagabond. Fast forward 169 years and boom…you have Barack Obama…great-great-great grandson of Kearney, 44th President of the United States of America and 3.1 per cent Irish. Flatley was born in Chicago to Irish immigrant parents. Erika Sanger is a journalist who has written for a range of news hubs across the globe. His ambition and drive to save his family lives on through ‘The Boss’ we all know and love today. Not only was Bly one of the first women to expose the horrendous working conditions of the late 19th century, writing several undercover articles for the New York World, she also took the brave step of faking mental illness in order to reveal how patients were being treated in Blackwell’s Island Women’s Lunatic Asylum. Little did they know their family … In 1850 Falmouth Kearney, a cobbler’s son from Co. Offaly, boarded the Marmion ship from Liverpool to seek his fortune in the Land of the Free. You will find scores of famous Irish American politicians, Irish American actors, Irish American singers, Irish American athletes, Irish American writers, Irish American clergy, and even – although less proudly – Irish American gangsters. Famous Irish-Argentines Irish Immigration to Argentina Beginning with the Great Potato Famine in 1845, Irish looking to escape hunger and English oppression often faced the choice between emigrating to the United States or Argentina, both economically promising countries at the time. On November 1963 a dark cloud swept over both the United States and Ireland. Both the Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys travelled to the United States to seek their fortune during a time of poverty and depression in Ireland. Most of the ships carrying Irish immigrants to America, however, were well built and adequately supplied. While it has been argued (with little supporting evidence) that Irish explorers such as Brendan the Bold preceded the Norse to Canada, such wishful thinking is not necessary to establish the significance of the Irish contribution to Canada. But despite eight maternal generations coming from Co. Clare in the West of Ireland The First Lady often played down her humble roots. In 1939 a feisty Irish teenager arrived in Hollywood and stole many hearts. They arrived in the United States 11 years before he was born and sent their talented son to Irish dancing classes from a young age. Eileen Marie Collins was one of the first female pilots for the U.S. Airforce. Collins was born in New York to immigrant parents from Co. Cork. The Irish may have constituted a… No evidence has been found to confirm The Kid’s father was also Irish although the legend’s roguish character suggests he was. America has been a mecca for Irish immigrants since the 1600s. Formerly a wilderness of forests, meadows, and stream... Irish Americans have a long, proud history of performing on the stage and screen. There are lots of variations of the story of Billy the Kid but it is safe to say he has been replicated by many boys during a game of ‘Cowboys and Indians.’. She appeared in The Hunchback of Notre Dame before securing a contract with RKO Pictures and becoming the face of the Golden Age of Hollywood. As they arrived, Irish immigrants were greeted in the popular press with anti-Irish and anti-Catholic stereotypes, often taking the form of political cartoons. Samuel O’Reilly was born in 1854 in New Haven, Connecticut, to Irish immigrant parents. Ireland Before You Die (IB4UD) is the biggest Irish travel and culture website. Ned Kelly When it comes to famous Irish people in Australia, rightly or wrongly, Ned Kelly’s name is always bound to come up. During America’s colonial period, about 250,000 of all religions arrived from Ireland and had no love for their British colonial rulers. Nearly half a million (447,000) are estimated to have been either Irish-born or of Irish ancestry. By Nicki Fleischner and Erica Sanchez. Irish immigrants were also derided in the press as 'aliens' who were mindlessly loyal to their Catholic leaders in place of any allegiance to America. Born Maureen FitzSimons in Ranelagh, a suburb of Dublin, in 1920, O’Hara’s vivacious personality and affinity for the arts were recognized almost immediately. Irish immigration to America - Discrimination. But ambitious Bly didn’t stop there. Madeleine Albright (1948) For years, the United States’ first female Secretary of … He had paternal links to Counties Cork and Wexford while his mother’s heritage leads back to Counties Limerick and Cavan. Since then people linked to Ireland have continued to put their stamp on cities across the United States, leaving their legacy as they go. Ok, so he might not have changed the world but he has certainly rocked the world of many fans for years. Credit: AP. The infamous bushranger, born to John “Red” Kelly originally from Tipperary, lived a short, action packed life during the late 1800s as an outlaw, murderer and bank robber. It’s a topic that spurs political debates … The Irish who immigrated to America in the mid-19, As a result of their unabiding determination, Irish Americans have risen to fame in numerous occupations over the last century and a half. By 1790, America had a white population of 3,100,000. The Irish began sailing to America in significant numbers by the 18th century. Despite only discovering his Celtic ancestry in 2007, Obama embraced the news and once celebrated his roots by dying the White House fountain a lovely Emerald Green. Irish Canadians (Irish: Gaedheal-Cheanadaigh) are Canadian citizens who have full or partial Irish heritage including descendants who trace their ancestry to immigrants who originated in Ireland. © Copyright 2019 - 2021 Ireland Before You Die | Trading under, Top 10: Irish Americans Who Changed The World, Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Ireland You Can Actually Visit, A Famous Irish Lighthouse is Available For Rent – And It’s INCREDIBLE, Top 10 facts you probably didn’t know about Constance Markievicz, Beara Peninsula: what to see, reasons to visit, and things to know, Slieve Bearnagh Hike: best route, distance, when to visit, and more, Adrian Dunbar explores coastal Ireland in new show airing this week, WATCH: Gardaí take part in viral dance challenge showing Ireland’s breathtaking scenery, ABBA fondly recall their only Irish concert in 1979. Irish women line up at the Emigrant Savings Bank, withdrawing money to send back to relatives in Ireland. (1880) Library of Congress. Ambrose O’Higgins (1720-1801), the Irish-born viceroy of Peru, is one of the most celebrated Irish immigrants, having reached the highest ranks in the Spanish colonial imperial service. Irish immigrants, both male and female, were drawn with brutish, ape-like features. It became yet another pioneering success with her completing the goal in just 72 days. Susan Collins. Frank McCourt was an Irish-American author who is widely known for his best selling memoir, Angela’s Ashes. Despite living in Brooklyn, New York, McCourt’s immigrant parents decided to return to Ireland but ended up worse off than where they had left. Irish immigrants played an instrumental role in Puerto Rico's economy. John F. Kennedy, his father, siblings and their children, have all had a huge impact on political and social life in America and are, most likely, the most famous Irish-Americans of all time. Son of an Irish alcoholic father and graduate of unknown Eureka … In Australia, home to the third-largest population of Irish migrants, about 2 million people, or 10 percent of the population, said they were of Irish descent in the 2011 census. Irish involvement in both state and national politics also gained prominence in the twentieth century. Theme images by, The Remarkable Life of Kitty McInerney: How a Poor Irish Immigrant Raised 17 Children in Great Depression New York, The Remarkable Life of Kitty McInerney:  How a Poor Irish Immigrant Raised 17 Children in Great Depression New York, Irish Ships to America: Famous Ships of Irish Immigrants, Irish Immigration to America: How America Became Irish, Famous Irish American Singers & Musicians, Bronx Irish Americans: American Irish History in the Bronx. Since the 17th century, because of the political and military links between France and southern Ireland, the Irish have lived in what is now Canada. 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