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Guide to the Ireland House Oral History Collection AIA.030

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2596
special.collections@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Rebecca Altermatt, Rachel Searcy

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on March 31, 2022
Description is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Updated by Megan O'Shea to incorporate material from accession number 2018.100 Updated by Lyric Evans-Hunter to reflect the digitization of electronic records  , September 2018 , March 2022

Container List

R

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: Electronic records E-records : TW_AIA_30_ER_16 Rath, Anne

Rath, Anne: 2014-   https://aeon.library.nyu.edu/remoteauth/aeon.dll?Logon&Action=10&Form=31&Value=http://dlib.nyu.edu/findingaids/ead/tamwag/aia_030.xml&view=xml

Biographical Note

Anne Rath was born in 1955 in Ballycanew, County Wexford, Ireland as the sixth child of 15 children.  She graduated from University College Dublin in 1975 and worked as a primary teacher in Cork.  She immigrated to the United States (US) in 1986, settling in Belmont, Massachusetts. She worked for the British Consulate for over two years before being accepted to Harvard Graduate School of Education.  She received her doctorate in 1995. In 1996 she returned to Ireland to teach at University College Cork and was a member of the Department of Education for 14 years. She retired and returned to the US and has worked as a counsellor and writing workshop instructor since 2009.  She and her partner, John Cullimore, have two children.

Scope and Contents

This interview was conducted by Íde B. O'Carroll in Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland on July 17, 2014.  The interview covers Anne Rath's early life and education in Ireland, her immigration to the United States in 1986, and her work as a college professor in Ireland in the 1990s and 2000s.  Rath discusses her childhood in rural Ballycanew in County Wexford, Ireland, including her parents, their childhoods and professions. She discusses her work as a teacher in Cork, deciding to receive extra training in guidance counselling, and visiting Boston, Massachusetts in the summer of 1986.  She recalls working various jobs in the summer of 1986 before working at the British Consulate. She recounts her decision to return to Ireland in 1996, the difficulties she and her family faced with adjusting to the move, and the issues she faced returning to teaching. In particular she discusses the difficulties being a working mother with young children in Ireland, the lack of social life in Ireland for Rath and her partner, and the difficulties the family faced in adjusting to the differences in life, work, and school between the US and Ireland.

2014
Box: Electronic records E-records : TW_AIA_30_ER_40 Rattigan, John

Rattigan, John: 2015-   https://aeon.library.nyu.edu/remoteauth/aeon.dll?Logon&Action=10&Form=31&Value=http://dlib.nyu.edu/findingaids/ead/tamwag/aia_030.xml&view=xml

Biographical Note

John Rattigan was born in 1946 in Boston, Massachusetts.  He graduated from Boston College in Chestnut Hill in 1968 and received his law degree from Suffolk University in Boston in 1974.

Scope and Contents

This interview was conducted by Íde B. O'Carroll at the Irish International Immigration Center in Boston, Massachusetts on March 11, 2015.  The interview covers John Rattigan's family and his working life in Boston. Rattigan describes his parents and siblings, and recounts his memories of his first visit to Ireland in the 1960s.  He discusses his education and his first jobs as a lawyer in Boston before joining the Irish International Immigration Center (IIIC) in 2000. He discusses his work as an immigration counselor at the IIIC, his work at the time of the interview coordinating community legal clinics in various neighborhoods in Boston, and other initiatives of the IIIC.  He also discusses his membership in the Charitable Irish Society of Boston and Irish American newspapers to which he contributes articles on immigration.

2015
Box: Electronic records E-records : TW_AIA_30_ER_93 Reardon, Daniel

Reardon, Daniel: 2014-   https://aeon.library.nyu.edu/remoteauth/aeon.dll?Logon&Action=10&Form=31&Value=http://dlib.nyu.edu/findingaids/ead/tamwag/aia_030.xml&view=xml

Biographical Note

Daniel Reardon was born in 1946 in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from the Loyola School in Manhattan in 1964 and entered St. Andrew-on-Hudson in Hyde Park, New York. He graduated from Fordham University in the Bronx with bachelor's degrees in English and Classics in 1970. In 1974 he graduated from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland with a master's degree in literature. Reardon joined Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) in 1974 and married in 1977.

Scope and Contents

This interview was conducted by Miriam Nyhan on November 5, 2014 at New York University's Glucksman Ireland House in Manhattan, New York. The interview contains Daniel Reardon's family history and immigration story as well as his early memories of growing up in the Stuyvesant Town residential development in Manhattan. He describes his education and his reason for leaving St. Andrew-on-Hudson due to his mental health. He recounts his involvement with a theatre group starting in 1970 and his disenchantment with academia that led him to become a professional actor.

2014
Box: 3 Folder : 50 Reidy, Sr. Virgilius

Other Finding Aids

Subject notes have been created by track number, and the Word file is available upon request at tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu.

Biographical Note

Sister Virgilius Reidy was born in 1913 in Ballymacelligott, Co. Kerry, Ireland, the youngest of ten children. She lost her brother Jack when he was killed by the Black and Tans in 1920. Sister Virgilius entered the order of Franciscan Sisters in 1931 and immigrated to America in 1934. She began teaching and served as Mother Superior in schools in the East New York section of Brooklyn. In the 1950s she worked in Augusta and Savannah, Georgia, where she witnessed racial integration in public schools, and taught future Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Scope and Content Note

This oral history was digitally recorded on a Marantz PMD660. The interview is approximately 40 minutes long. The interview took place in Tenafly, New Jersey, on April 8, 2009, and the interviewer was Myriam Nyhan.

Apr 8, 2009
Box: 3 Folder : 51 Reilly, Fr. Gavin

Historical/Biographical Note

Fr. Gavin Reilly of the Capuchin Order (b. Brooklyn, New York, 1928) graduated from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome in 1958. Fr. Reilly has taught theology at the Capuchin Theological Seminary in Garrison, New York and at St. Anselm's College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

undated
Box: Electronic records E-records : TW_AIA_30_ER_10 Reilly, Matthias

Reilly, Matthias: 2014-   https://aeon.library.nyu.edu/remoteauth/aeon.dll?Logon&Action=10&Form=31&Value=http://dlib.nyu.edu/findingaids/ead/tamwag/aia_030.xml&view=xml

Biographical Note

Matthias Reilly was born in 1941 in County Fermanagh, Ireland.  He immigrated to the United States (US) in 1962 and settled in New York, New York.  He worked as a bus driver for New York City Transit Authority. He was a member of the Fort Worth Five, five Irish men from New York who were imprisoned in Fort Worth, Texas between 1972 and 1973 for refusing to answer questions regarding alleged arms smuggling between the US and Ireland.

Scope and Contents

This interview was conducted by Danielle Zach at New York University's Glucksman Ireland House in New York, New York on June 20, 2014.  The interview covers Matthias Reilly's early life in Ireland, his life in the United States (US), and his experiences as a member of the Fort Worth Five.  Reilly describes his childhood on a farm in Northern Ireland and recounts his memories of the social and political divisions between Catholic and Protestant people in his village.  He recounts his reasons for immigrating to the US and for settling in New York in 1962. He discusses the establishment of Irish Northern Aid Committee (NORAID) in the mid-1970s. He recounts the events that led to his being jailed in Fort Worth, Texas and a member of the Fort Worth Five.  He discusses the other men imprisoned with him and their legal team led by Paul O'Dwyer. He also recounts his encounters with members of the Ulster Special Constabulary in his village in the 1950s and his memories of his reaction to Bloody Sunday in 1972.

2014
Box: 3 Folder : 52 Reilly, Megan

Historical/Biographical Note

Megan Reilly (b. Memphis, Tennessee, 1976) is a singer and songwriter who has been called one of the "Top Nine Emerging Songwriters".

undated
Box: 3 Folder : 53 Ridge, John

Historical/Biographical Note

John T. Ridge (b. Brooklyn, New York, 1947), the son of immigrants from Galway and Longford, is an historian who has documented the history of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the St. Patrick's Day Parade as well as many other aspects of New York Irish history. In 2011 he published Celebrating 250 Years of the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade. He has been a long-time officer, including President, of the New York Irish History Roundtable.

Related Archival Materials

John T. Ridge Collection (AIA 068)

undated
Box: 4 Folder : 79 Rodriguez, Margaret

Historical/Biographical Note

Margaret Rodriguez (b. New York, New York, 1938) is the daughter of Irish immigrant parents from Counties Roscommon and Cork. She began working for NYU in 1969 and stayed until her retirement in 2011.

Nov 12, 2011
Box: 3 Folder : 54 Rogers, James

Biographical Note

James Silas Rogers was born in 1952 in St. Paul, MN. He traces Irish ancestry through his mother's family, the Davitts, who immigrated from Mayo in the 19th Century. James became involved with the Irish American Cultural Institute in 1983 and initiated a degree program in Irish Studies at Metropolitan State University, in St. Paul, MN. He is the editor of the New Hibernia Review, managing director of the Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas, and president of the American Conference for Irish Studies.

Scope and Content Note

This oral history was digitally recorded on a Marantz CDR420. The interview is approximately 2 hours, 18 minutes long. The interview took place in New York City on October 9, 2009, and the interviewer was Marion Casey.

Oct 9. 2009
Box: Electronic records E-records : TW_AIA_30_ER_43 Rohan, Kathleen

Rohan, Kathleen: 2015-   https://aeon.library.nyu.edu/remoteauth/aeon.dll?Logon&Action=10&Form=31&Value=http://dlib.nyu.edu/findingaids/ead/tamwag/aia_030.xml&view=xml

Biographical Note

Kathleen Rohan was born in Ballinspittle, County Cork, Ireland in 1967.  She immigrated to the United States in 1989. At the time of the 2015 interview, she was the Deputy Director of Operations at the Irish Pastoral Centre in Boston, Massachusetts.

Scope and Contents

This interview was conducted by Íde B. O'Carroll at the Irish Pastoral Centre in Boston, Massachusetts on March 12, 2015.  The interview covers Kathleen Rohan's early life in Ireland and her working life in the United States (US). Rohan describes her family and her childhood in Ballinspittle in County Cork.  She discusses her experiences after graduating from high school in 1986 and immigrating to the US in 1989. She discusses her early experiences in Boston as an undocumented immigrant and the difference in the types of jobs she could acquire once she obtained a Morrison visa.  She discusses her involvement in the Gaelic Athletic Association from the 1990s through the time of the interview, her establishment of and participation in the Boston Shamrocks Ladies Gaelic Football Club, and the importance of sports to her.  She discusses her work at the Irish Pastoral Centre and the role of the Centre's programs in the Irish and Irish American communities in the Boston area.

2015
Box: 3 Folder : 55 Rohs, Steve

Historical/Biographical Note

Steve Rohs (b. Cincinnati, Ohio, 1965) is a professor of American Studies at Michigan State University's James Madison College of Public Affairs. He is the author of Eccentric Nation: Irish Embodiment and Performance in Nineteenth Century New York City (2009). Raised in a West Side working class Catholic family, he is of German ancestry on his father's side. His mother is descended from Brian (Barnard) White who emigrated from Sligo to avoid jail in 1852 and worked as a stonemason in Cincinnati.

undated
Box: 3 Folder : 56 Rooney, James E.

Scope and Content Note

Rooney discussed the significant role that family and tradition plays in his life. He also discussed his ties to Mayo and Newry, Co. Down, Ireland. His great grandfather, Dan Rooney, and great grandmother Margaret Devlan, emigrated from Ireland to Wales via Prince Edward Island for 10 years, and then came to Coulter, Pa (outside of Pittsburgh) in the United States.

When the Rooney's arrived in America, Jim's great grandfather, Dan Rooney, a distinct leader in the 1st Ward of Pittsburgh's North Side, opened a bar on Federal Street. The bar encapsulates the Rooney's future business style in that it led to his grandfather's introduction into professional boxing and sports as well as leading him into the position of 1st Ward Chairman on the North Side, which evolved his career into politics.

His grandfather, Art "The Chief" Rooney, was married to Kathleen McNulty in June of 1931 and had 5 children. He grew up and lived all his life in the North Side of Pittsburgh. He was an adamant sports fan and loved to gamble. He played minor league baseball from 1920-1925, and made the Olympic Boxing Team in 1920, but did not participate. He also played in many minor league football teams around Pittsburgh. Jim referred several times to his grandfather as a risk taker.

His maternal grandparents came to America from Ballaghaderreen, County Mayo, Ireland. Martin Reagan came in 1921 and sent for his wife Mary Duffy in 1923.2 of 10 kids grew up in Pittsburgh's North Side, which he refers to as the Irish Ghetto in the turn of the 19th century. Rooney grew up there, too. His mom went to University of Pittsburgh later in life to gain the education that she had always wanted. His mom viewed vernaculars as an anathema, and had a 'tough as nails' personality that he asserts to the large family that she was in care of. His maternal grandmother is still alive today at the age of 96. Jim notes that his mother and grandmother are very similar in their tough personalities. He talked about the role his mother, Patricia Reagan, and his grandmother, Mary Duffy, played in his childhood. They emphasized education and compassion, while maintaining a 'tough as nails' demeanor. However he talks about his dad being the biggest influence in his adult life. He says this is because his dads inability to engage with a child. He discussed that his mother and father had met in the first grade and grew up together.

Dan Rooney, Jim Rooney's father, was born 7-30-1932 on the North Side of Pittsburgh, PA and is the current owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, which was passed down to him from his father Art "The Chief" Rooney in 1975. He was a member of the 1950 class at North Catholic High School and the 1955 class at Duquesne University. He is the Vice-Chairman of the American Ireland Fund, involved in The United Way of America, The American Diabetes Association, Presbyterian University Hospital, The Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation and Duquesne University. He is also the benefactor of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the founder of the Newry-Pittsburgh Partnership, and is the 3rd person to ever receive the Charter of Newry. He was also inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

He talks of his St. Bernard's and Gilmour Academy Catholic School upbringing in St. Peter's parish on the North Side of Pittsburgh, PA. Jim tells how his own kids have continued on, with the tradition of Catholic Schooling. He discusses the unique blend that Catholic school brings to a child's education. He also talks of his ties to St. Peters Church near the Steelers stadium on the North Side of Pittsburgh and how everyone in his family has been baptized and married there and that he still goes to church there.

After his completion of college, he went to South Africa and worked with diabetic youth, which he says opened his eyes up to working with Ireland. In the mid 90's, right after he got out of college, he went to Belfast to support his father's efforts with the Ireland Fund. He was inspired by the immense economic growth that he witnessed from the first visit to Ireland in 1976 to his current visits in the 90's, which motivated him to remain involved with efforts in Ireland.

A year after completing Boston College, Jim traveled to South America to work with diabetic youth. After this, in the mid-90's Jim's father, Dan Rooney, asked him to take up business dealings in Belfast to support his father's work with the American Ireland Fund.

In 2001, he ran for state Senate as Democrat and lost, but has worked for many political campaigns. His wife steered him away from politics due to the stress and exposure in politics.

He talks about his five attempts at starting his own business, in which two have failed, one has been slightly successful and his current engagement is in progress. Part of his current business involved him in the creation of security robots called the 'Kuchera Robots' for the 2006 Super Bowl in Detroit as the director of First Link. The Kuchera Robot is a 30-pound robot that spins, crawls and looks through windows by remote control and takes photos; created for the use in Iraq, but used in the 2006 Super Bowl. First Link is in charge of marketing ideas, and works with Pantherlab Works to advance the technology in the ideas.

Jim Rooney was interviewed at New York University's Glucksman Ireland House on November 9th 2006 by Amanda Snatchko and Marion Casey. The interview took place before Jim was scheduled to talk about his father and the Steelers tradition later that night at the Glucksman Ireland House as well.

Other Finding Aids

This interview has been logged at ten-minute intervals, and the Word file is available upon request at tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu.

Historical/Biographical Note

James E. Rooney (b. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1967), director of FirstLink at the University of Pittsburgh's Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, Katz Graduate School of Business, and grandson of Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney.

Nov 9, 2006
Box: Electronic records E-records : TW_AIA_30_ER_96 Rowland, Seán

Rowlan, Sean: 2014-   https://aeon.library.nyu.edu/remoteauth/aeon.dll?Logon&Action=10&Form=31&Value=http://dlib.nyu.edu/findingaids/ead/tamwag/aia_030.xml&view=xml

Biographical Note

Seán Rowland was born in 1959 in Turlough, County Mayo, Ireland.  He immigrated to the United States in 1986, settling in Boston, Massachusetts.  He established Hibernia College, an online university, in 2000.

Scope and Contents

This interview was conducted by Íde B. O'Carroll in Dublin, Ireland on July 9, 2014.  This interview covers Seán Rowland's early life in Ireland and his working life in the United States (US).  Rowland discusses his family and his education in Ireland. He discusses his decision to immigrate to the US in 1986; to settle in Boston, Massachusetts; and to complete his Doctor of Education degree at Boston College in Chestnut Hill.  He discusses his work in the field of distance education, his work with Boston College to establish Boston College Ireland in Dublin, and his work to establish Hibernia College in 2000. He describes Hibernia College and his desire to create an online distance learning school for people interested in obtaining a graduate degree.  He describes his work with Boston College's Irish Institute, Developing Entrepreneurs in Boston for Ireland (DEBI), and Center for Irish Management programs.

2014
Box: 3 Folder : 57 Ryan, Fr. Gerald R.

Scope and Content Note

Ryan discusses the neighborhood in which he grew up. He describes 1920's Pelham Bay in the Bronx as farmland with fruit trees and gardens. He remembers his childhood as well as his family, specifically his mother and father, immigrants from Ireland who met in New York City. He discusses his Catholic upbringing and describes his parents' reaction to his desire to be a priest; his mother's delight and his father's support.

After attending P.S. 71 for three years, Ryan attended the parish elementary school of Our Lady of Assumption after it opened in 1928, graduating in 1933. He continued his education at Cathedral College for high school and his first two years of college and then St. Joseph's Seminary for the remainder of his college education and seminary training. He reveals his father's belief that he should always pay his own way and because of his conviction, he would not allow Ryan to attend Seminary school on credit as the rest of the seminarians did.

On January 27, 1945 Gerald Ryan was ordained by Cardinal Francis Spellman (1889–1967). Twelve years after entering the seminary in a class of ninety-nine, sixteen were ordained. He discusses the changes in the Catholic Church and the seminary since his pre-Vatican II educational training, including the drop in numbers of young men with vocations.

While waiting for a position as an English teacher at Cardinal Hayes High School, Ryan was assigned to St. Anthony of Padua parish in the Bronx immediately after ordination. He discusses his adjustments to parish life in an African-American community and how he came interested in the civil rights movement. Ryan marched in Washington, DC and heard the famous "I Have a Dream" speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King in 1963, and two years later joined King and other religious leaders in Selma, Alabama to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in support of African-American voting rights. He describes the bus ride to Selma and the unknown fear of what could happen during the march. He tells the story of the angry southerners yelling at those participating in the protest and how the atmosphere changed once the crowd recognized singer Harry Belafonte in the line of marchers. Back in New York, Ryan continued to participate in demonstrations on issues affecting all poor communities such as housing and health.

Ryan served at St. Anthony's until he was assigned as pastor of St. Luke's parish in 1966. Several years later he learned that the call for a teaching position never came in 1945 because the pastor of St. Anthony's had personally requested of the Cardinal that Ryan remain in the parish to work with him. Looking back, Ryan feels that remaining at St. Anthony's instead of leaving to teach was for the best.

As pastor of St. Luke's parish, Ryan ministers to a primarily Hispanic community. He discusses the differences in participation between his current parish and the primarily Irish parish he belonged to as a child. He tells of the current parishioners' interest in participating in the liturgy and running of the parish. He speaks of the irony that as a young priest he served with three other priests in a parish and now as an older man he is the only priest in a bi-lingual parish. Ryan is currently the longest serving pastor in the diocese of New York. He spends his day running the parish with his other staff and administering to his parishioners' needs. In addition to saying the majority of the masses at St. Luke's, he works with the parish council and leads a weekly session for the troubled teens of the parish.

Ryan concludes the interview by discussing his opinions on the reasons for the lack of vocations to the priesthood and the loss of American Catholic faith. He speaks of his love for Ireland and in particular his special devotion to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock in County Mayo.

Rev. Msgr. Gerald Ryan was interviewed at New York University's Glucksman Ireland House on 17 November 2005 by Natalie Rose and Linda Dowling Almeida. This oral history with Msgr. Gerald Ryan was digitally recorded on a Marantz CDR420. The interview is 99 minutes long, on two CDs and had been logged at ten-minute intervals.

Other Finding Aids

This interview has been logged at ten-minute intervals, and the Word file is available upon request at tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu.

Historical/Biographical Note

Fr. Gerald R. Ryan (b. New York, New York, 1920), pastor of St. Luke's R.C. Church in the South Bronx and the longest serving pastor in the Archdiocese of New York.

Nov 17, 2005
Box: 3 Folder : 58 Rygor, Stanley and Kathleen

Biographical Note

Stanley Rygor was born in New York in 1926, and wife Kathleen Rygor was born in Birr, Co. Offaly, Ireland, in 1929. Kathleen immigrated to New York in 1950 and met Stanley at an Irish dance the following year. Stanley and Kathleen's late son Robert, an AIDS activist and leader of the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization (ILGO) in New York, died of AIDS in 1994. The Rygors became involved in the ILGO through Robert and are active in the annual St. Pat's For All parade and in the organization Parents and Friends of Lesbians & Gays.

Scope and Content Note

This oral history was digitally recorded on a Marantz PMD660. The interview is approximately 100 minutes long, on 2 CDs. The interview took place in Astoria, Queens, New York, on May 14, 2009, and the interviewer was Myriam Nyhan.

May 14, 2009

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