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Saturday, November 29, 2014

1200 People Attend Boston's First County Mayo Reunion in 1905

Nearly 1,200 Irish expatriates and Americans with ties to County Mayo gathered at Paine Hall in Boston on November 28, 1905.

Organized by the newly formed Mayo Men's Benevolent Association, the event was so crowded that "at no time during the festivities was there room enough to accommodate those desiring to take part in the dances," according to a story in The Boston Globe the following day.

A number of prominent guests attended, included Thomas O'Conannon, a leader of Ireland's Gaelic League, and James Michael Curley, then an Alderman for the City of Boston.  In addition, representatives from other county clubs in Boston attended, representing Galway, Cork, Waterford, Sligo, Limerick, Roscommon, Kilkenny,Clare and Kerry.

Paine Memorial Hall, named after philosopher Thomas Paine, was located on Chandler Street in Boston's South End, and was used frequently by Irish organizations at that time.

In 2008, Boston's Irish community celebrated the official chartering of the Mayo Men's benevolent Association with a series of festivities.  Here is a story from The Mayo News.

Find out more about Boston's Irish history by visiting IrishHeritageTrail.com.




Sunday, November 2, 2014

Irish Storyteller Seumas McManus Speaks on "The Problem of Ireland" in Bangor, Maine


Donegal poet and storyteller Seamus MacManus gave a lecture in Bangor, ME on November 2, 1914, regarding the Irish and World War I.  He told his audience that "a great majority of the Irish people were not in sympathy with England in the present war and that most of them hoped that England would be severely beaten," according to a report in The Boston Globe.

Author of numerous books, including the popular The Story of the Irish Race, MacManus was considered a master storyteller in the old Irish tradition.  In 1900, The Boston Globe ran a six-part series of the author's stories and observations.   MacManus also lectured regularly in greater Boston, at places like Notre Dame Academy and Hibernian Hall in Roxbury and Boston College.  He was a frequent guest lecturer at Notre Dame University in Indiana.

Find out more about Boston's Irish history at IrishHeritageTrail.com.