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Support "Her Exiled Children," three documentaries about the Irish of America

~ Saturday, December 10, 2016

Friends of Irish Studies in the West has a new documentary film project to record and share a history of the Irish in Montana. It will focus nationwide attention on the rich Irish culture of the state, the unique Irish Studies program they have, and, help to attract out-of-state students from the greater Irish American community.

The documentary includes Marcus Daly, Thomas Francis Meagher, and one of the unsung heroes of Irish America, Sean O Sullivan. Sean was a scholar, a poet, a writer, a life-long member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, a champion of the Irish language, and one of the leading cultural nationalists in the United States of America. He was a close personal friend of Eamon de Valera and welcomed to his home such leading Irish nationalists as Countess Markievicz, Mrs. Pearse (mother of Patrick and Willie Pearse), Mary Mac Swiney (sister of Terence Mac Swiney), Mrs. Tom Clarke (wife of the executed leader of the Easter Rising), Frank Aiken, and many more. O Sullivan’s literary output and contribution to the cultural and political life of the Irish in America is now the subject of a PhD thesis. Stories and songs he wrote himself or were taken down from him are held in the Library of Congress, the National Library in Dublin, and in the Butte Silver Bow Archives. He is one of those great figures whose life history seems to have ignored.

A request is made that the Irish community nationwide support a project that focuses on the achievements of the Irish of America. The 150th anniversary of the death of Thomas Meagher takes place next year so it’s appropriate to feature his life with a special emphasis on his time in Montana; a film on Marcus Daly, nationalist and industrialist, is long overdue; and O Sullivan represents an cultural movement that originated in America and began the revolution, as Padraig Pearse said, that would achieve independence.

Once these documentaries are made, they will be broadcast on PBS and on Irish national television. A copy of each will be placed in every high school in Montana, and will offer scholarships to students to study Irish culture at UM for essays, poems and short stories inspired by the films. Please consider contributing to this project and getting more information at Friends of irish Studies. The Friends of Irish Studies is a non-profit community based organization established to unite those of Irish heritage and those with a love of Ireland by fostering Irish culture at the local, national, and international levels.

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