Musings From MommyLand

Because sometimes there is more to Mommy…

My Passion (some would say obsession) for All Things Irish

on March 7, 2012

I have a whole slew of St. Patrick’s Day/Irish posts in the works for the next few weeks so I thought I would take a quick minute to tell you where my passion for all things Irish came from.  Of course, as soon as I wrote the sentence, I knew I couldn’t answer the question…it is one I have been pondering for more than ten years. You may think that it would come from family history and legacy which would be a like scenario…sadly, I do not have one drop of Irish in my genealogy (English, Welsh, German, Russian for me).  All I can tell you is that my senior year of high school (eleven years ago) for some reason I picked the potato famine as my topic for my senior research project and haven’t looked back since.

The Irish speaking region of Ireland. Mainly the west and the Aran Islands.

Celtic Cross from a cemetery on the Aran Islands

During my undergraduate years, I used every available opportunity to tie in Irish history when doing research and writing papers.  As a history major, this was fairly frequently.  My senior thesis paper (for my other major, International Studies) looked at Irish Tinkers (gypsies) and the effect that modernization has had on their culture.  This was way before any Big Fat Gypsy Weddings on TLC by the way.  But the best experience was when I got to do a semester abroad in Galway Ireland at National University Ireland, Galway.  That was an amazing 5 months and I got to see and experience some amazing parts of Ireland.

After college, I left West Virginia and headed back to Colorado where graduate school was on the agenda.  I was enrolled to get a Master’s degree in history and since I was going to a school with a smaller Master’s program, it was a general history major with no specialization.  We just had to write 3 thesis papers with topics based in the classes that were being taught.  My papers focused on Irish women who came to be domestic servants in America (American History class), The writings of the leaders of the Easter Uprising of 1916 and how these inspired future Irish revolutionaries (Modern Europe class), and finally a comparison of British policy during the Irish famine and an Indian Famine (Indian history class).

A "famine house" never torn down....a memorial to those who were lost.

I was fairly proud of myself that I was able to connect Ireland to all three papers…I thought for sure I was out of luck for my Indian history class.

Kylemore Abbey...a beautiful estate near Galway that a man built for his wife as a marriage gift in the 1800's. Now an all girls boarding school.

So, I may not have Irish roots, but over the years I have studied their history and culture and have a very deep love and connection with the Irish.  That is my story and why I have dedicated March to posts celebrating all things Irish!


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