Friday, 14 March 2008

Butte la New York Times:

For a time, Gaelic was the common language in the mining warrens beneath Butte, Mont., and by the dawn of the 20th century the city had a higher percentage of Irish than any other in America – including Boston.

Butte was a hard-edged, dirty, dangerous town on the crest of the Continental Divide, and if a single man lived to his 30th birthday he was considered lucky. Yet entire parishes left the emerald desperation of County Cork for the copper mines of Butte, fleeing a land where British occupiers had once refused to let mothers educate their children, and where famine had killed a million people in seven years’ time.

We are about to enter a long weekend of blarney and excess in celebration of all things Irish….
…..But before too many pints of Guinness are drained on behalf of a leprechaun-lite version of Ireland’s legacy in the New World, it’s worth remembering an Irish verity from a long-forgotten place like Butte...

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