May 4 2005 4 04 /05 /May /2005 00:21



Here is an account of the Irish in America, written in 1886:


‘I met several people from Cork, and they were overjoyed to meet me, who

could tell them the history of the beautiful citie for the last generation. To

some I spoke the Irish language and their delight was inconceivable. I may

here remark that wherever I go I find the love of Ireland amongst the Irish to

be the most intense feeling of their souls – an all-absorbing passion, running

like a silver thread through all their thoughts and emotions. They think

forever of the old land, and sigh to behold it once more before they die. One

man who drove us one day for an hour refused to take any payment. He was

from Ireland and we were two Irish priests, and that was enough for him!

“What part of Ireland do you come from?” I asked. “From Wicklow, sir; I am

32 years in the country. “And do you ever think of the old country?” “Think,”

he exclaimed, “Oh! yes sir, I do think of the old country, not so much by day

as by night. In my dreams at night I see as distinctly as ever the lanes and

alleys where I played when a boy. I fancy I am at home once more, but I

awake and find I am in Montreal, and am like never to see my native land

again.” This dreaming of Ireland I found quite common, many people would

give all they have in the world to get back again and live in Ireland steeped in

poverty, rather than flourish wealthy in this strange land. And what is stranger

still is, that amongst the young people, those love Ireland most who are born

here of Irish parents. Their love is far more intense than the love of those

who were born in Ireland. Philosophers must account for this; it appears to

me to be a transmitted passion; they hear their parents constantly speak in

terms of affection of the land of their birth.’

 Rev. M. B. Buckley, Diary of a Tour in America, Edited by his sister Kate

Buckley, (Dublin: Sealy, Bryers & Walker, 1886), pp. 50-1.






















Share this post