(WTNH) — Along with oral tradition, there are more physical signs of the Irish impact in Connecticut.
“New Haven is very rich in the area that ethnic clubs and traditions that the Irish has carried on,” said George Waldron, CT Irish American Historical Society. “The Catholic Church was huge when they first got here because they were Catholics and there was a lot of oppression in Ireland because of that reason.”
St. Mary’s on Hillhouse is the oldest Catholic parish in New Haven and the second oldest in Connecticut.
“Father Murphy raised the funds to build St. Mary’s church and he is buried outside the church there,” said Waldron.
In a crypt at St. Mary’s is Father Michael J. McGivney, found of the Knights of Columbus.
“That’s why this is the central city for the Knights of Columbus,” said Waldron.
The fraternal benefit society now has almost 2 million members. There are other remnants across the state, representing the blood and sweat of Irish immigrants, like the Farmington Canals.
“Then when the Farmington Canal didn’t last long, maybe 20 years, they converted over to the railroad so they did all the work on that,” said Waldron.
The Connecticut Irish American Historical Society has documented 102 sites across the state for an Irish Heritage Trail.
“Over in Bayview Park, is the 9th Irish Regiment that fought in the Civil War,” said Waldron.
It’s the women and men who made life in the U.S. easier for us all.
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