IRISH NEW ORLEANS explores the local Irish influence, which dates back to 1769, when Alexander O’Reilly, an Irish expatriate, was appointed by the King of Spain as the second governor of Louisiana.
The tenacious Irish, with their tremendous faith in God and family, contributed to many aspects of local life. Joseph McKay, the oldest active member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians; James E. Fitzmorris, Jr., former lieutenant governor of Louisiana; William J. McCrossen, superintendent emeritus of the New Orleans Fire Department; Mary Ann McGrath Swaim, director of the New Orleans School of Irish Dance, and others reminisce about growing up Irish in New Orleans.
Local groups such as the New Orleans chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish Cultural Society and two Irish dance schools help keep some of the traditions alive today. IRISH NEW ORLEANS looks beyond the shamrocks and green beer stereotypes to present a culturally authentic portrait of the Irish in the Crescent City.