Did you know that after the Civil War an Irish-American army attacked Canada with the plan of holding it hostage and ransoming it for Ireland’s independence?
It’s no blarney.
The self-proclaimed Irish Republican Army invaded Canada not just once, but five times between 1866 and 1871 in what are known collectively as the Fenian Raids. And the entire plot was hatched in New York City.
So I’m looking forward to talking about the incredible true story of the Civil War veterans who fought for Ireland’s freedom on Monday, April 8 at 6:30 PM at the American Irish Historical Society in New York City.
New York City was a key character in WHEN THE IRISH INVADED CANADA. It was in the second-most Irish city in the world, behind only Dublin, where the Fenian Brotherhood was established in 1858. The Fenians established their own Irish Republic in exile in New York City. The Fenian president, cabinet, and senate plotted the liberation of Ireland inside the Moffat Mansion, a magnificent brownstone on the north side of Union Square dubbed the “Fenian White House.”
WHEN THE IRISH INVADED CANADA includes notable NYC Irishmen such as Congressman William Roberts and Archbishop “Dagger” John Hughes, who was no fan of the Fenians; locations such as Jones’s Wood, where the Fenians staged rallies that drew upwards of 100,000 people; and events such as the arrival of the “Cuba Five” in 1871 that nearly precipitated a brawl between representatives of Tammany Hall and the federal government jockeying to be the first to welcome the Irish revolutionaries to New York.
The American Irish Historical Society is located at 991 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Admission is free for society members and $10 for non-members. For more information, call (212) 288-2263 or visit their website.