Emerald Heritage | 5 Things the Irish have done for America
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Stars And Stripes

5 Things the Irish have done for America

Ever wondered what the Irish have done for America?

There is an indelible link between America and the Emerald Isle that continues to grow deeper and stronger even with the passing of generations and the changing of times.

The two countries might be separated by geographical size, diversity and the Atlantic Ocean but the connection remains and is constantly revisited by tourists and public figures alike. 

This connection is due to countless reasons but one is the impact the Irish have had on America and what they’ve done for the country.

An Irishman designed the White House.

District Of Columbia White House

One of Ireland’s biggest claims to fame in America comes in the form of James Hoban, a County Kilkenny man, who was the architect and designer of the most important building in the country, the White House. 

Hoban, originally from just outside Callan in his native Ireland, moved to America and settled in Philadelphia in 1785. Incredibly, he won a competition to design the home of the President. Hopefully entry wasn’t open to everyone

The Great Seal of the United States was designed by a Derry man.

Imaging designing something that American’s see even more than the White House! That’s what County Derry man Charles Thompson did when he was asked to be part of the design committee for the Great Seal of the United States.

Not a bad days work for a man who served as Secretary of the Continental Congress and lived to the grand old age of 94!

An Irishman composed the initial tune for Star Spangled Banner.

Stars And Stripes

There’s some dispute around who really composed America’s national anthem but many Irish-American’s credit Irishman Turlough O’Carolan with the famous song.

O’Carolan was a famous, blind Irish harpist who hailed from County Meath and spent his lifetime moving around the country and composing. Many within the Emerald Isle consider him their national composer. Not bad for the son of a blacksmith.

Three Irishmen signed the Declaration of Independence.

July 4th rings a bell worldwide now as an American day of celebration and partying. While it might be more about the beers, fun and fireworks these days, back in 1776 the signing of the Declaration of Independence was serious business and three Irishmen were involved.

Of the 8 foreign men involved, 3 hailed from our little patch of land. James Smith, George Taylor and Matthew Thornton signed their names into history on July 4th 1776.

The Irish created Guinness.

This might not be bulletproof logic but surely one of Ireland’s greatest gifts to the United States, and the world for that matter, has been that beautiful ruby black pint of Guinness?

We’ll leave you to decide which of these achievements you prefer the most!


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