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View From the Editor’s Desk: ‘No Irish Need Apply’

It’s St. Patrick’s Day when America turns green. It wasn’t always like that.

My Irish ancestors came to America in the early 1700s so they were well established by the time the Irish famine in the mid-1800s drove hundreds of thousands – some say upward of 2 million – from Ireland to the U.S.

Even though the new arrivals [1] were desperate, homeless, and hungry, they were not wanted. Most were Catholic [2] and not welcomed because of that even though America was supposed to be the land of religious liberty.

Irish immigrants [3] took the most lowly, dangerous jobs for little pay because they were barred from other jobs with “Irish Need Not Apply” signs. They died of hunger, they died on the job, they died because they had nowhere else to go.

Now in America, on Saint Patrick’s Day, we all want to be Irish. Éirinn go Brách!