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Americas Independence Day

Ireland Role in the United States of America’s Independence

On April 2, 1784, Luke Gardiner, afterward Lord Mountjoy, told the English Parliament, “America was lost by Irish emigrants … I am assured from the best authority, the major part of the American Army was composed of Irish and that the Irish language was as commonly spoken in the American ranks as English, I am also informed it was their valor that determined the contest …

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The Irish and the Americans, the USA and the Emerald Isle; we are inextricably linked forever more and part of that is due to Ireland’s role in the United States fight for Independence during the American Revolution.

To celebrate this years 4th of July we thought we’d take a quick look back at the impact of our own Emerald Isle on the day when thirteen colonies became one new country.

The Father of the American Navy

Do you know about John Barry? The County Wexford native, originally from Tacumshane, was a successful trans-Atlantic captain before shooting to fame in 1775 as the first man to capture a British ship during the Revolution. Barry was eventually dubbed the “Father of the American Navy” for his exploits. Not bad for a man from a little village in the southeast of our country!

The Irish Role

The Battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill are etched into the collective American memory but did you know that plenty of brave Irishmen were present on both occasions? The Battle of Lexington, April 19th 1775, saw 174 of our countrymen fight whilst 698 fought at Bunker Hill on June 17th 1775.

Evacuation Day

On March 17th 1776, in a crucial win for the colonies, the British Army evacuated Boston after being successfully pushed out. In celebration George Washington named Irishman John Sullivan the officer of the day and issued “St. Patrick” to be the password used by guards on duty. Who knew that St Patrick’s Day would be a lucky one for the Irish?

 Have a great 4th of July from all of us at Emerald Heritage and remember to raise a glass for the Irishmen that helped their fellow Americans achieve Independence in 1776!

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