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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

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Rebecca Altermatt, Rachel Searcy

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on October 10, 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 Updated by Aki Snyder to include unprocessed microcassettes, miniDVs, and an audio cassette  , September 2018 , March 2022 , October 2022

Container List


Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 54 (Mixed Materials [31142063408093]) Fallon, John J.

Biographical Note

John J. Fallon (b. Galway, Ireland, 1919, d. 2011) was the retired Principal of Bay Ridge High School and former president of the American Irish Teachers Association.

Nov 16, 2005
Box: 5 MiniDV : 031_0007 (Video [31142067148521])
Box: 1 Folder : 55 Fanning, Charles

Scope and Content Note

Mr. Fanning discusses his family background, his childhood in 1950s Norwood, Massachusetts, Irish American literature and his own academic and literary pursuits. Fanning begins the interview with background about his family. His father, Charles Fanning Sr., worked in a variety of jobs before settling as a custodian in Norwood public schools. The Fannings roots are in County Monaghan, Ireland. They immigrated during the famine and became farmers in Needham, Massachusetts. Fanning's mother Frances Patricia Fanning never worked outside the home. Her mother was born in Cork because her parents, who had immigrated to Boston, had returned to Ireland to settle an estate.

Fanning describes his childhood in Norwood which he remembers as an ideal time. He explains the separation in Norwood between the Irish, the Yankees and the new immigrants; mainly the groups were divided geographically by ethnic neighborhoods but there was no animosity between the communities. Fanning also talks about his family's unique attitude towards the Yankees because in previous generations his family included intermarriages between Irish and Yankees.

After attending public schools in Norwood, Fanning explains that he then attended Harvard University despite his guidance counselor's urging to apply to Boston College. At Harvard, Fanning studied literature. When he graduated, he went to the University of California at Berkley where he pursued graduate studies in English. Fanning explains his interest shifted to teaching so he left Berkley to attend Harvard again for its graduate teaching programs. Fanning also admits while reviewing his education choices that fear of being drafted into the Viet Nam War kept him in school. In his final graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania in 1967 , Fanning explains that he discovered his true passion while pursuing American studies and explored the connection between literature and history. Fanning wrote his dissertation on the work of Finley Peter Dunne which examined the Chicago Irish. Fanning also talks about his mentors John Kelleher, professor at Harvard, and Tom Brown at the University of Massachusetts, whose advice directed him toward Dunne.

Fanning talks about his teaching career which began at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts and the competition for teaching posts at the time he was finishing his PhD. He briefly mentions his two year stint teaching at the University of Missouri St. Louis before he went to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he founded an Irish studies program. Fanning talks about the reception of the Irish studies program which was positive in Carbondale. He also explains the extensive library of Irish literature at Carbondale which includes letters and manuscripts from Joyce and Yeats. Fanning also discusses Irish American literature at length and the future of Irish American literature.

Fanning discusses his work beyond his dissertation, which he later developed into his first book published in 1968. He explains his writing process and his upcoming projects which include a memoir and a novel about Chicago in the 1880s.

Charles Fanning was interviewed on 4 November 2009 at Glucksman Ireland House at New York University by Tara Dougherty and Linda Dowling Almeida. The interview is 1 hour, 58 minutes, and 45 seconds long, on 2 CDs.

Other Finding Aids Note

This interview has been logged at ten-minute intervals, and the Word file is available upon request at

Historical/Biographical Note

Charles Fanning (b. Norwood, Massachusetts, 1942), Emeritus Professor of English at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale where he built a respected Irish Studies program, is the author of several works including The Irish Voice in America: Irish-American Fiction from the 1760s to the 1980s (1990) and Finley Peter Dunne and Mr. Dooley: The Chicago Years (2008). For 21 years, he taught at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts and spent two years as assistant to the chancellor of the University of Missouri, St. Louis. A descendant of Famine immigrants from Co. Monaghan, his maternal grandmother was from Co. Cork.

Nov 4, 2009
Box: 1 Folder : 56 Farragher, Michael and Eileen

Historical/Biographical Note

Michael and Eileen Farragher (b. Co. Galway, 1935) (b. Co. Limerick, 1941) met after emigrating from Ireland, married in 1965 and raised two sons in New Jersey. Michael, a US Army veteran, worked for the New Jersey Turnpike for 35 years. Their son is the writer Mike Farragher.

Jun 20, 2011
Box: 4 Folder : 39 Farragher, Mike

Historical/Biographical Note

Mike Farragher (b. 1966) is the son of Irish-born parents from Cos. Limerick and Galway. He writes for the Irish Voice and and has published a series of essay collections entitled This Is Your Brain on Shamrocks.

Nov 1, 2011
Box: 4 Folder : 40 Farrell, Brendan P.

Historical/Biographical Note

Brendan P. Farrell (b. New York, New York, 1964), a successful businessman, he developed XPS, software used throughout the globe in financial services and was Ernst & Young's Businessperson of the year in 2011.

Oct 9, 2013
Box: Electronic records E-records : TW_AIA_30_ER_21 Farrell, Brigid Brannigan

Farrell, Brigid Brannigan: 2014-

Biographical Note

Brigid Brannigan Farrell was born in 1945 in Cullyhanna, County Armagh, Ireland.  She was a member of American Congress for Irish Freedom and Irish Northern Aid Committee (NORAID).

Scope and Contents

This interview was conducted by Danielle Zach at New York University's Glucksman Ireland House in New York, New York on August 19, 2014.  The interview covers Brigid Brannigan Farrell's early life in Ireland and her political activity in the United States. Farrell describes her childhood on a farm in County Armagh, Ireland; the relationship between Catholic and Protestant people in her village in Armagh; and recounts her decision to immigrate to the United States in 1964.  She recounts her reasons for leaving Ireland, in particular the neglect of Catholic areas in Northern Ireland and her inability to get a good job as a Catholic. She discusses her membership in the American Congress for Irish Freedom (ACIF), her memories of Bernadette Devlin McAliskey and Sandy Boyer, and the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland in the 1960s.  She discusses her involvement in the Irish Northern Aid Committee (NORAID), describes the beginning of the organization in New York, and recounts the many Irish American political organizations worked together in the 1970s. She also discusses the opinion of Irish Americans to the activities of the ACIF and NORAID, the experiences of her siblings who remained in Northern Ireland, and the importance of Irish music in Irish republican politics in the 1970s and 1980s.

Box: 1 Folder : 57 (Mixed Materials [31142063408093]) Feighery, John

Feighrey, John: 2014-

Biographical Note

John Feighery (b. 1933), a printer, is the son of 1920s immigrants from County Offaly and County Tipperary, Ireland. He is a member of the County Offaly Association as well as a volunteer coach and athletic director at his Bronx alma mater, Sacred Heart School, in Highbridge, NY.

Scope and Content Note

An initial interview was conducted on May 1, 2009 by Miriam Nyhan.

A second interview was conducted by Miriam Nyhan on October 4, 2014 in the Crestwood neighborhood of Yonkers, New York. The interview consists of John Feighery's descriptions of his work as Athletic Director of Sacred Heart Church in the Bronx, New York. He describes his family's history of supporting the Irish republican causes promoted by the Irish Republican Army.  He recounts a childhood memory of visiting his aunt in the Marymount Convent in Tarrytown, New York while the Federal Bureau of Investigation was monitoring the convent due to the involvement of the nuns with Phillip and Daniel Berrigan.

Box: Electronic records E-records : TW_AIA_30_ER_74 (Electronic Records)
Box: 1 Folder : 58 Feighery, Nancy

Historical/Biographical Note

Nancy Feighery (b. Tullamore, Co. Offaly, 1934) studied nursing in Liverpool, England, before coming to America at the age of 20 in 1955. She married in 1960; she and her husband then moved back and forth between Ireland and New York with their children several times through the late 1960s and 1970s. They have owned and operated the Fiddler's Green, an Irish bar in Carmel, New York, since 1981.

Jun 23, 2011
Box: Electronic records E-records : TW_AIA_30_ER_75 Ferris, William

Ferris, William: 2015-

Biographical Note

William Ferris was born in 1942 in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Scope and Contents

This interview was conducted by Miriam Nyhan at New York University's Glucksman Ireland House in Manhattan, New York in on April 18, 2015.  The interview covers William Ferris's life in Mississippi and his work as a folklorist. Ferris describes his childhood on a farm in Vicksburg, Mississippi and the importance of their Irish connections to him and his family.  Throughout the interview, he describes the importance of the farm to his family. He discusses his identity as a southerner and an Irish American, and the differences in opinions on ethnic identity amongst Irish Americans across the United States.  He discusses his relationship to the African American community in Vicksburg from his childhood through the time of the interview in 2015 and incidents between his family and the Ku Klux Klan because of their close relationship with the African American community in the 1960s.  He describes his work as a folklorist, his focus on African American music and culture, and the ways in which he approaches his work and gaining the trust of people with whom he works.

Box: Electronic records E-records : TW_AIA_30_ER_79 Fincham, Kelly

Fincham, Kelly: 2016-

Biographical Note

Kelly Fincham was born in 1966 in Hampton, England. In 1979 Fincham left England with her family and moved to Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland. She graduated from Presentation Secondary School in Castleisland, County Kerry in 1983. She married her husband in 2006.

Scope and Contents

This interview was conducted by by Íde B. O'Carroll on November 11, 2016 in Yonkers, New York. The interview covers Kelly Fincham's family history, childhood, and career trajectory in journalism. Fincham discusses her family tree in Ireland and her family's immigration to England before her birth. She describes her early childhood in England and her education after her family moved to Ireland. Fincham describes her travels to Paris as an au pair in 1986. She recounts her career as a journalist in Australia, Ireland, and the United States. She elaborates on her time in Australia in 1991 as a substitute copy editor in the Australia Financial Review and the  Sydney Telegraph. She recalls her move back to Dublin, Ireland and her job with the  Irish Independent Newspaper from 1992 to 2002. She recounts how she spent a year in New York, New York in 2001 working with the  Irish Voice.

Box: 4 Folder : 41 Fine, Rosemary

Historical/Biographical Note

Rosemary Fine (b. Limerick City, Co. Limerick, Ireland, 1962) is an actor from an Irish Jewish family who toured the United States, married, re- located, and runs 'Java Joes' in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Aug 21, 2013
Box: Electronic records E-records : TW_AIA_30_ER_76 Finn, Dan, Father

Finn, Dan, Father: 2016-

Biographical Note

Father Dan Finn was born in 1944 in Kanturk, County Cork, Ireland.  He immigrated to the United States with his family in the 1960s, settling in Boston, Massachusetts.  He attended Cardinal O'Connell Seminary and St. John's Seminary in Boston and was ordained in 1972. Father Finn served as the pastor of St. Mark's Catholic Church in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston for 22 years, retiring in 2015.  At the time of the 2016 interview, he was serving as the Executive Director of the Irish Pastoral Center in Dorchester.

Scope and Contents

This interview was conducted by Íde B. O'Carroll at the Irish Pastoral Center in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts on April 11, 2016.  The interview covers Father Dan Finn's family and his experiences as a priest in Boston for over 35 years. Father Finn describes his family, his childhood and early education in Ireland, and his family's immigration to the United States in 1960s.  He describes his vocation and his religious education and training at Cardinal O'Connell Seminary in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, and later St. John's Seminary in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston. He describes the changes in the ethnic and cultural composition of the congregation at St. Mark's between the 1980s and the time of the interview, from largely Irish and Irish American to Vietnamese, Haitian, and Dominican.  He recounts his involvement in the immigration reform movement in Boston, starting in 1987 with his introduction to the situation of undocumented Irish immigrants with Sister Veronica Dobson and his involvement with the Irish Immigration Reform Movement. Father Finn also discusses his involvement in the Greater Boston Interfaith Organisation, his focus on building connections in the community, and his participation in the Gaelic Athletic Association.

Box: Electronic records E-records : TW_AIA_30_ER_47 Finnegan, Paul

Finnegan, Paul: 2015-

Biographical Note

Paul Finnegan was born in 1965 in Phoenix, Arizona and was raised in County Galway, Ireland.  He graduated from University College Galway in 1986. He immigrated to the United States in 1986 and settled in New York, New York.  He received his master's degree from Baruch College in 1997. At the time of the 2015 interview, he was the Executive Director of the New York Irish Center in Queens.

Scope and Contents

This interview was conducted by Íde B. O'Carroll at the New York Irish Center in Queens, New York on March 20, 2015.  The interview covers Paul Finnegan's family, his early life in Ireland, and his working life in the United States (US).  Finnegan describes his family members in detail and discusses his father's working life in the US and in Ireland. He discusses his education and his decision to immigrate to the US in 1986.  He discusses working in different fields in the late 1980s and early 1990s and volunteering with Irish American organizations. He describes his experiences at the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, starting as a volunteer to executive director.  He discusses his work at the New York Irish Center, including programs he was managing at the time of the interview.

Box: 1 Folder : 59 Fitzgerald, Sr. Tesa

Historical/Biographical Note

Sr. Tesa Fitzgerald of the Sisters of St. Joseph (b. Far Rockaway, New York, 1946) is the daughter of immigrants from Counties Kerry and Donegal. She is the founder of Hour Children, a non-profit organization that provides support for incarcerated women and their families, in and out of the prison system.

May 23, 2011
Box: 1 Folder : 60 Flanagan, Fionnula

Historical/Biographical Note

Fionnula Flanagan (b. Dublin, Ireland, 1941), a stage, television and film actress, has lived in Los Angeles since 1968. A fluent Irish speaker and a committed Irish nationalist, she is the wife of Dr. Garrett O'Connor.

Apr 15, 2011
Box: 1 Folder : 61 Flanagan, James

Biographical Note

James K. Flanagan (b. 1940), also known as Séamas Ó Flannagáin, is a poet and storyteller with roots in County Clare and County Roscommon, Ireland. A native of Jersey City, NJ, with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Notre Dame, he taught in Asbury Park and specialized in African-American literature.

Scope and Content Note

The interview focuses on themes like: being Irish in 1940s and 1950s Jersey city; Irish teenagers having romantic encounters with Italian teenagers; today's blacks and latinos as the Irish of 150 years ago; Jersey City accent; parishes of Jersey City; Catholicism and politics in Jersey City; and the death of John Kennedy.

This oral history was digitally recorded on a Marantz PMD660. The interview is approximately 300 minutes long, on 3 CDs. The interview took place in New York City on February 17, 2009, and the interviewer was Myriam Nyhan.

Feb 17, 2009
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Flanagan, Rose; Mulvihill, Margie; Furlong, Patty

Historical/Biographical Note

Rose Conway Flanagan, Patty Furlong, and Margie Mulvihill are all second generation Irish Americans raised in the Bronx, New York, are traditional Irish musicians. They play music together, as well as teach, in Rockland County and the New York City area.

Feb 15, 2011
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Flannelly, Adrian (2 inteviews)

Biographical Note

Adrian Flannelly (b. County Mayo, Ireland, 1942), a broadcast journalist, community leader and promoter, is a founding Board Member of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, The Irish Repertory Theatre, and Ireland Chamber of Commerce USA (ICCUSA), as well as co-founder of Project Irish Outreach, Catholic Charities (Archdiocese of New York). He emigrated to New York in 1959 and has been broadcasting on local radio since the 1970s.

Scope and Content Note

This oral history was digitally recorded on a Marantz PCM660. The interview took place over two sessions: November 13 and 19, 2008. The 11/13/08 interview is approximately 115 minutes long and the 11/19/08 interview is approximately 150 minutes long, on 5 CDs. The interview took place in New York City, and the interviewer was Myriam Nyhan.

Nov 13, 2008- Nov 19, 2008
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Fleming, Tom

Scope and Content Note

Some themes that are disscussed in the interview are: how does Irishness play out through his writing, and trying to escape his Irish American roots (track 17, 5 minutes); Irish versus Irish American; 'all these god damn people remind me of my relatives!'re: Irish on his first trip to IRL in 1958 (track 19, 5 minutes); 'I can't do it. I can't imagine how an American would think, that isn't an Irish American. It was that strong.' (track 17, 9 minutes); and Catholic versus Protestant in Jersey City (track 1).

This oral history was digitally recorded on a Marantz PMD660. The interview is approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes long, on 3 CDs. The interview took place in New York City on February 27, 2009, and the interviewer was Myriam Nyhan.

Historical/Biographical Note

Tom Fleming (b. Jersey City, New Jersey, 1927), historian and novelist whose many published works have won main selections for the Book-of-the-Month Club in both fiction and nonfiction, is third generation Irish American. His 1961 novel All Good Men and his 2005 memoir Mysteries of My Father recall his childhood in Jersey City, New Jersey and the politics of the Frank Hague machine.

Feb 27, 2009
Box: Electronic records E-records : TW_AIA_30_ER_42 Flood, Cora

Flood, Cora: 2015-

Biographical Note

Cora Flood was born in Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny, Ireland in 1970.  She graduated from University College Dublin in 1991. She immigrated to the United States in 1993.

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 Cora Flood's early life in Ireland and her working life in Ireland and the United States (US). Flood describes her family members.  She discusses her experiences at University College Dublin in the late 1980s and early 1990s and her struggles finding a job after graduation in 1991. She discusses her decision to immigrate to the US in 1993; her work in Boston, particularly in the Dorchester and Roxbury neighborhoods; and one program she coordinated bringing Irish and West Indian immigrants together.  She describes her work at the Irish Pastoral Centre with Irish and Irish American senior citizens and the Centre's relationship with the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton.

Box: 2 Folder : 4 Flynn, Tom

Historical/Biographical Note

Tom Flynn (b. Albany, New York, 1946) is a descendant of Irish immigrants on both sides of his family tree, with known roots in Counties Waterford and Sligo. Dispersing from Canada and Boston, his ancestors ultimately found their way to New York State. Now a free-lance producer and author of a fledgling series of murder mysteries, he worked for 25 years at CBS News. He is the author of the epic poem, Bikeman, which recalls the morning of September 11, 2001.

May 11, 2011
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Foley, Fr. John

Historical/Biographical Note

Fr. John Foley (b. Dublin, Ireland, 1940), Vice President of the Paulist Fathers, emigrated to New York at a young age. He was ordained as a Paulist priest in 1967 and served for over 44 years in New York, Texas, Rome, San Francisco and New Jersey. He earned a doctorate in canon law from Gregorian University in Rome and for 8 years was the Paulist liaison with the Vatican.

Jul 13, 2011
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Forrester, Janet

Historical/Biographical Note

Janet Forrester (b. Kent, England, 1964) grew up in Northern Ireland and emigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s. A graduate of CUNY Law School with an MSW, she is a lawyer who represents parolees at Rikers Island, New York City's central prison.

Feb 12, 2011
Box: 2 Folder : 7 French, Mary Carroll

Biographical Note

Mary Carroll French (b. 1963), a lawyer, is a second generation Irish American and life-long resident of Stuyvesant Town on Manhattan's east side. Her mother is Martina Carroll and her brother is Patrick Carroll.

Scope and Content Note

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

Feb 2, 2009

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