Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit!
Irish-Canadian Hart Brothers
My Grandfather (Edward) and 3 of his brothers (Thomas, William, Michael)—first generation of Irish Canadians
On St. Patrick’s Day I honour my Irish ancestors (I’m 1/2 Irish)🍀 They are my heroes—their courage inspires me.
As Sir John Norris said of the Irish:
…never beheld so few of any country as of Irish that were idiots and cowards, which is very notable.”
(Pendergast, John P. The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland, 1868, P78)
In the 17th Century, my relatives were among the Irish Catholics and Irish gentry whose land and possessions were stolen, and who were “transported” to Connaught and held prisoner there. Connaught had a natural wall around it to keep the Irish separate from the new English “adventurers”—Connaught had a rugged Atlantic coastline on one side and the River Shannon on the other.
The rest of the [Irish] ‘ nation were to lose their lands, and take up their residence wherever the Parliament of England should order.* On 26th September, 1653, all the ancient estates and farms of the people of Ireland were declared to belong to the adventurers and the army of England; and it was announced that the Parliament had assigned Connaught (America was not then accessible), for the habitation of the Irish nation, whither they must transplant with their wives, and daughters, and children, before the 1st of May following (1654), under penalty of death, if found on this side of the Shannon after that day.” (Pendergast, John P. The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland, 1868, p.83.)
However, the Irish cannot be kept down—as King Henry of France (King from 1589-1610) expressed:
There lives not a people more hardy, active, and painful… neither is there any will endure the miseries of warre, as famine, watching, heat, cold, wet, travel, and the like, so naturally, and with such facility and courage that they do.
(The Library of Trin, 1615, Coil. Dublin, F. 3, 16, in: Pendergast, John P. The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland, 1868, P78.)
My ancestors survived the Irish genocide-famine and left Ireland for Canada as soon as they were able (18th-19th centuries). Today, on St. Patrick’s Day, I honour my Irish ancestors: the Harts (O’hAirt), Dooleys (O’Dubhlaoich), Rowans (O’Ruadhain), and Gavins (O’ Gáibhín).