“We believe that the museum belongs in Washington to reflect the national character of our story, the Irish legacy is evident all across North America.” This will be a “museum of identity,” whose goal, says Shanahan, “is to explore the experience of a people’s immigration and the evolution of its community, as well as to acknowledge their struggles and triumphs.”
An approved 501c and actively seeking donations online:
The group intends that the Irish American Museum of Washington, D.C., joins the roster of similar museums of identity honoring African Americans, Native Americans, Jewish Americans and Chinese Americans among others. “Education is at the heart of the Irish American Museum’s mission,” says board member Jim Dougherty, whose ancestors came to America during Ireland’s Great Famine. “The museum will begin to build its collection online.” While museums have been experimenting with the Web for years, only recently have Web users had the technology to play a more active role in shaping a museum’s collection. “The museum will be a home for all of those of Irish and Scots-Irish descent, and will promote dialogue and understanding among people of all cultural backgrounds. It will illuminate 250 years of Irish-American history through innovative exhibitions, education and cultural programs.” Since promoting the idea it has gained the support of numerous Irish-American associations, Irish Studies groups and cultural centers.
Ireland’s Ambassador in Washington DC, Michael Collins, commenting on the development Irish American Museum in DC said:
“Ireland and America enjoy an enduring friendship. Irish immigrants and their descendants have made a huge contribution to the birth and growth of America. Theirs is a fascinating story, which will not be forgotten."
- Ambassador Michael Collins
Donate here: www.irishamericanmusemdc.org
According to Irish legend, Brendan, a missionary who left his homeland in the sixth century crossed the Atlantic long before Columbus or the Vikings ever stepped foot on its shores. Irish folklore has always included tales of adventures across a western ocean and the mythical lands on the other side. It would be centuries before history would document the names of Irish explorers who arrived with the crews of Columbus and Sir Walter Raleigh or record the waves of 18th-century Irish immigrants who made the perilous journey across the Atlantic. But a new world where every individual could set the course of his life was always a hope of Irishmen. Just as the Irish seemed destined for America, America seemed destined for the Irish.“In such a country, a man is most conscious of his value,” wrote John Francis Maguire in his 1868 book, The Irish in America. “He is the architect of his country’s greatness, the author of her civilization, the miracle worker by whom all has been and can be accomplished.”
First- and second-generation Irishmen played a crucial role at the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775. Commanded by Irish-American John Stark, who later became a colonel in Washington’s army.Each generation sacrificed to lift up the next one and, today, Irish-Americans are one of the country’s successful ethnic groups, according to census reports.For every group that came in as out- siders, it has been a struggle to adapt, but that’s what makes us Americans. We all come from different traditions, but at the core we are all coming here and building something new, different,and better.Science,art,literature,music,
labor,politics,medicine,it goes on and on,in so many ways Irish American contributions have
added much to Americas success.
There are so many varied aspects and shared heritage within the Irish American journey.It will be exciting to see the development and the build of the Irish American Museum in DC.
We're building it together.
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To learn and see more go the website donations can be made there. WWW.IRISHAMERICANMUSEUMDC.ORG The website will be building into a virtual museum as development is taking place for the Washington DC location.The museum is actively seeking development funds and philanthropic connectivity .The vision for the museum is for it to be both historic and contemporary with an energetic theme for learning and sharing the varied Irish American stories.