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Bronze statue of a crouching man at the end of a long jump, and there’s two kids running by the statue. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Boston Irish heritage sites, mapped

These stops include the JFK library and museum and the Irish famine memorial as well as lesser-known sites such as a largely unmarked mass burial ground

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Memorials, monuments, and other reminders of the influence of the Irish and Irish-Americans pepper Boston. And why not? The city was a major disembarkation point for Irish immigrants throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, and remains a locus of the Irish diaspora today.

Here is a map of 11 of those key heritage sites, for St. Patrick’s Day and beyond.

The sites include obvious pilgrimages such as the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (which marked a major milestone in 2019) and the Irish Famine Memorial, but also lesser-known ones such as a largely unmarked mass burial ground off the city’s coast and a testament to the Navy’s first commissioned officer.

[Sources: Irish Heritage Trail; Boston Art Commission]

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Bunker Hill Catholic Cemetery

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This cemetery was immensely controversial when it opened in the 1830s. Protestant residents and officials in Charlestown did not want Irish-Catholics buried near the sacrosanct Revolutionary War battle site, even on private land (the bishop of Boston had bought the acreage).

It’s now closed to the general public but visible nonetheless.

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy birthplace

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The daughter of a Boston mayor and the mother of a U.S. president—and the namesake of the famed ribbon of parkland in downtown Boston—was born at this North End address in 1890.

A placard on a brick building explaining the significance of the building. Flickr

Irish Famine Memorial

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The memorial commemorates the famine that started in 1845, and led to not only hundreds of thousands of deaths, but to a mass emigration to the United States.

Two sets of statue pedestals in a public square, with people on each pedestal in obvious distress. Shutterstock

Commodore John Barry Monument

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The Irish-born John Barry (County Wexford, to be exact) was the first commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, having served during the Revolution.

This monument is located in Boston Common, where Temple Place meets Tremont Street.

Thomas Cass Statue

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Born in Queen’s County, Ireland (now County Laois), Cass saw extensive action in the Civil War, rising to colonel and dying in Boston of wounds sustained in the Battle of Malvern Hill in Virginia.

Unveiled in 1899, this statue is located on the Boylston Street Mall of the Public Garden.

Patrick Collins Statue

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The memorial commemorates Boston’s second Ireland-born mayor, and includes a description of his rise from upholster to Harvard Law grad to Congress to City Hall. (Interestingly, there does not seem to be a similar memorial to Hugh O’Brien, the city’s first Ireland-born mayor.)

The Collins bust is located along the Commonwealth Avenue Mall between Clarendon and Dartmouth streets.

Deer Island

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More than 800 Irish immigrants died at the quarantine station on Deer Island in the mid-19th century and are buried there.

An oddly fascinating wastewater treatment plant dominates the island now, but there is a marker delineating the cemetery.

An expanse of grass with a blue-gray harbor in the distance. Shutterstock

John Boyle O’Reilly Monument

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This monument commemorates the Irish resistance leader and later U.S. journalist who emigrated to Boston (via British banishment to Western Australia).

Daniel Chester French, most famous for his statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, sculpted O’Reilly’s monument. It is near the intersection of Fenway and Boylston Street.

Hibernian Hall

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For decades after its 1913 opening, the hall served as a hub of Irish-American life in Boston. It was nearly demolished in 1997, but remains as an arts center in Roxbury.

A boxy, four-story brick building. Tim Pierce/Wikipedia

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

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The official presidential library dedicated to the only U.S. president of predominantly Irish descent is located next to the University of Massachusetts-Boston’s main campus.

The I.M. Pei-designed complex is one of multitudes of JFK-related sites and shrines in Boston and the surrounding area.

A modern building housing the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on Boston’s waterfront. Shutterstock

James Brendan Connolly Monument

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The Columbus Park monument honors Connolly, who was the first Olympic champion—today’s equivalent of gold medalist—from Boston.

He won in the 1896 Games, the first of the modern era, for the triple jump. Hence the monument’s design of a Connolly sticking the landing of a jump.

It is located at the intersection of Mount Vernon Street and Old Colony Avenue.

Bronze statue of a crouching man at the end of a long jump, and there’s two kids running by the statue. Boston Globe via Getty Images

Bunker Hill Catholic Cemetery

This cemetery was immensely controversial when it opened in the 1830s. Protestant residents and officials in Charlestown did not want Irish-Catholics buried near the sacrosanct Revolutionary War battle site, even on private land (the bishop of Boston had bought the acreage).

It’s now closed to the general public but visible nonetheless.

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy birthplace

A placard on a brick building explaining the significance of the building. Flickr

The daughter of a Boston mayor and the mother of a U.S. president—and the namesake of the famed ribbon of parkland in downtown Boston—was born at this North End address in 1890.

A placard on a brick building explaining the significance of the building. Flickr

Irish Famine Memorial

Two sets of statue pedestals in a public square, with people on each pedestal in obvious distress. Shutterstock

The memorial commemorates the famine that started in 1845, and led to not only hundreds of thousands of deaths, but to a mass emigration to the United States.

Two sets of statue pedestals in a public square, with people on each pedestal in obvious distress. Shutterstock

Commodore John Barry Monument

The Irish-born John Barry (County Wexford, to be exact) was the first commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, having served during the Revolution.

This monument is located in Boston Common, where Temple Place meets Tremont Street.

Thomas Cass Statue

Born in Queen’s County, Ireland (now County Laois), Cass saw extensive action in the Civil War, rising to colonel and dying in Boston of wounds sustained in the Battle of Malvern Hill in Virginia.

Unveiled in 1899, this statue is located on the Boylston Street Mall of the Public Garden.

Patrick Collins Statue

The memorial commemorates Boston’s second Ireland-born mayor, and includes a description of his rise from upholster to Harvard Law grad to Congress to City Hall. (Interestingly, there does not seem to be a similar memorial to Hugh O’Brien, the city’s first Ireland-born mayor.)

The Collins bust is located along the Commonwealth Avenue Mall between Clarendon and Dartmouth streets.

Deer Island

An expanse of grass with a blue-gray harbor in the distance. Shutterstock

More than 800 Irish immigrants died at the quarantine station on Deer Island in the mid-19th century and are buried there.

An oddly fascinating wastewater treatment plant dominates the island now, but there is a marker delineating the cemetery.

An expanse of grass with a blue-gray harbor in the distance. Shutterstock

John Boyle O’Reilly Monument

This monument commemorates the Irish resistance leader and later U.S. journalist who emigrated to Boston (via British banishment to Western Australia).

Daniel Chester French, most famous for his statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, sculpted O’Reilly’s monument. It is near the intersection of Fenway and Boylston Street.

Hibernian Hall

A boxy, four-story brick building. Tim Pierce/Wikipedia

For decades after its 1913 opening, the hall served as a hub of Irish-American life in Boston. It was nearly demolished in 1997, but remains as an arts center in Roxbury.

A boxy, four-story brick building. Tim Pierce/Wikipedia

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

A modern building housing the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on Boston’s waterfront. Shutterstock

The official presidential library dedicated to the only U.S. president of predominantly Irish descent is located next to the University of Massachusetts-Boston’s main campus.

The I.M. Pei-designed complex is one of multitudes of JFK-related sites and shrines in Boston and the surrounding area.

A modern building housing the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on Boston’s waterfront. Shutterstock

James Brendan Connolly Monument

Bronze statue of a crouching man at the end of a long jump, and there’s two kids running by the statue. Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Columbus Park monument honors Connolly, who was the first Olympic champion—today’s equivalent of gold medalist—from Boston.

He won in the 1896 Games, the first of the modern era, for the triple jump. Hence the monument’s design of a Connolly sticking the landing of a jump.

It is located at the intersection of Mount Vernon Street and Old Colony Avenue.

Bronze statue of a crouching man at the end of a long jump, and there’s two kids running by the statue. Boston Globe via Getty Images