By Michael McCarthy
Ireland and its people are an integral part of the our heritage and culture. In almost every corner of this province we find people of Irish descent. The Irish in Newfoundland paints a vivid picture of the Irish experience from the early days of anti-Catholic persecution when a house could be burned to the ground simply because Mass had been said there, to, by the turn of the twentieth century, relative peace between Irish Roman Catholics and English Protestants.
Mike McCarthy’s painstaking research has resulted in a book that is a treasure trove of information about those first Irish immigrants. He tells their story from the legendary voyage of St. Brendan, to the modern era with the construction of the Basilica in St. John’s. The Irish in Newfoundland looks at religious restrictions, political turmoil and the fierce partisan involvement of the clergy in nineteenth century elections, the justice and denominational school systems, legends and folktales, and faction fights between Irishmen from different countries.
But most of all, this book tells of the men and women who came from a beloved old country to an unknown new one, to create a better life for themselves and their children.