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Marker for the Irish Famine Memorial.
Marker for the Irish Famine Memorial.
LABabble via Flickr.

11 Boston sites for celebrating the Irish and Irish heritage

Including a presidential library, an Olympian monument, and a mass burial ground

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Marker for the Irish Famine Memorial.
| LABabble via Flickr.

Boston has long been the loci of the Irish in America (and of Irish-Americans).

Not surprisingly, then, the city is awash in memorials, monuments, and other reminders of the influence here of the sons and daughters of Eire. Here is a map of 11 of those key sites, just in time for St. Patrick's Day.

The sites include obvious pilgrimages such as the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum 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. Sláinte. [Sources: Irish Heritage TrailBoston Art Commission]

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1. Irish Famine Memorial

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15 School St
Boston, MA 02108
The memorial commemorates the famine that started in 1845 and that led to not only hundreds of thousands of deaths, but to a mass emigration to the U.S.
Wikimapia.org.

2. Commodore John Barry Monument

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Boston Common
Boston, MA 02108
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.

3. Thomas Cass Statue

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Boston Public Garden
Boston, MA 02116
Born in Queen's County, Ireland, 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.

4. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

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Columbia Point
Boston, MA 02125
(617) 514-1600
Visit Website
The official presidential library dedicated to the only U.S. president of predominantly Irish descent is located next to UMass-Boston's main campus.
Wikipedia.org.

5. Patrick Andrew Collins Memorial

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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.)
Wikipedia.org.

6. John Boyle O'Reilly Monument

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Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02115
This commemorates the Irish resistance leader and later U.S. journalist who emigrated to Boston (via British banishment to Western Australia).
Masshist.org.

7. James Brendan Connolly Monument

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Old Colony Ave & Mt Vernon St
Boston, MA 02125
The Columbus Park monument honors Connolly, who was the first Olympic champion (today's equivalent of gold medalist) from Boston, having won in the 1896 Games, the first of the modern era. He was one of 12 children of Irish immigrants.
Boston.com.

8. Rest Haven Cemetery

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Deer Island
Boston, MA 02152
More than 800 Irish immigrants died at the quarantine station on Deer Island in the mid-19th century and are buried on the spit. A wastewater treatment plant dominates the island now, but there is a marker delineating the cemetery.
Findagrave.com.

9. Hibernian Hall

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184 Dudley St
Roxbury, MA 02119
(617) 541-3900
Visit Website
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.
CommunityArtsAdvocates.org

10. Bunker Hill Catholic Cemetery

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303 Bunker Hill St
Charlestown, MA 02129
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.

11. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Birthplace

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4 Garden Ct St
Boston, MA 02113
The daughter of a Boston mayor and the mother of a U.S. president (and the namesake of the famed ribbon of greenway) was born at this address in 1890.

1. Irish Famine Memorial

15 School St, Boston, MA 02108
Wikimapia.org.
The memorial commemorates the famine that started in 1845 and that led to not only hundreds of thousands of deaths, but to a mass emigration to the U.S.
15 School St
Boston, MA 02108

2. Commodore John Barry Monument

Boston Common, Boston, MA 02108
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.
Boston Common
Boston, MA 02108

3. Thomas Cass Statue

Boston Public Garden, Boston, MA 02116
Born in Queen's County, Ireland, 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.
Boston Public Garden
Boston, MA 02116

4. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125
Wikipedia.org.
The official presidential library dedicated to the only U.S. president of predominantly Irish descent is located next to UMass-Boston's main campus.
Columbia Point
Boston, MA 02125

5. Patrick Andrew Collins Memorial

Massachusetts
Wikipedia.org.
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.)

6. John Boyle O'Reilly Monument

Boylston St., Boston, MA 02115
Masshist.org.
This commemorates the Irish resistance leader and later U.S. journalist who emigrated to Boston (via British banishment to Western Australia).
Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02115

7. James Brendan Connolly Monument

Old Colony Ave & Mt Vernon St, Boston, MA 02125
Boston.com.
The Columbus Park monument honors Connolly, who was the first Olympic champion (today's equivalent of gold medalist) from Boston, having won in the 1896 Games, the first of the modern era. He was one of 12 children of Irish immigrants.
Old Colony Ave & Mt Vernon St
Boston, MA 02125

8. Rest Haven Cemetery

Deer Island, Boston, MA 02152
Findagrave.com.
More than 800 Irish immigrants died at the quarantine station on Deer Island in the mid-19th century and are buried on the spit. A wastewater treatment plant dominates the island now, but there is a marker delineating the cemetery.
Deer Island
Boston, MA 02152

9. Hibernian Hall

184 Dudley St, Roxbury, MA 02119
CommunityArtsAdvocates.org
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.
184 Dudley St
Roxbury, MA 02119

10. Bunker Hill Catholic Cemetery

303 Bunker Hill St, Charlestown, MA 02129
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.
303 Bunker Hill St
Charlestown, MA 02129

11. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Birthplace

4 Garden Ct St, Boston, MA 02113
The daughter of a Boston mayor and the mother of a U.S. president (and the namesake of the famed ribbon of greenway) was born at this address in 1890.
4 Garden Ct St
Boston, MA 02113