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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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Irish Famine Memorial

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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.

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.

Thomas Cass Statue

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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.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

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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.

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.

John Boyle O'Reilly Monument

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

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, having won in the 1896 Games, the first of the modern era. He was one of 12 children of Irish immigrants.
Boston.com.

Rest Haven Cemetery

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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 on the spit. A wastewater treatment plant dominates the island now, but there is a marker delineating the cemetery.
Findagrave.com.

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.
CommunityArtsAdvocates.org

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 greenway) was born at this address in 1890.

Irish Famine Memorial

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.
Wikimapia.org.

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.

Thomas Cass Statue

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.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

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.
Wikipedia.org.

Patrick Andrew Collins Memorial

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.)
Wikipedia.org.

John Boyle O'Reilly Monument

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

James Brendan Connolly Monument

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.
Boston.com.

Rest Haven Cemetery

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.
Findagrave.com.

Hibernian Hall

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.
CommunityArtsAdvocates.org

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

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.