The Irish are among the most widely spread people in the world. Mass emigration in the 19th century caused by famine, mass evictions and poverty led millions of emigrants to leave Ireland in search of a better life.
They headed for newly developing countries like the United States, Australia, Canada and South America.
Everywhere they went they brought their culture, their music and their indomitable spirit and optimism with them.
But no matter how much the Irish prospered in their new lands, they never forgot the old country they left behind.
Many dreamed of returning home to Ireland but never managed to do so. Instead, they passed on their love of their home country to their children, their grandchildren and beyond.
Today, more than 100 million people are proud to claim Irish heritage.
Many who are third or fourth generation Irish, still feel a strong affinity with Ireland. It may be something they can’t fully explain but it’s undeniable and has real meaning to them.
This page is for those people – the ones who still hear Ireland Calling even though their ancestors may have left more than a hundred years ago.
Ireland and America
Friends across the sea
United by common heritage,
And a love of being free.
by Ireland Calling
* * *
Here they tell their stories of what Ireland means to them.
Share a special moment with someone you love
Two hearts come together as one in this delightful sterling silver necklace
We start with Judith Fell, who’s third generation Irish and lives in Australia with her family.
Read Judith’s story here.
Dave Fleming is an Irish Canadian. He took regular holidays in Ireland as a child to visit his family.
Read Dave’s story here.
Marie Hall is an American nurse who decided to search her family history and visited Ireland for her 40th wedding anniversary.
Read Marie’s story here.
American actor, author and journalist Bill Hughes traces his DNA ancestry.
Read Bill’s story here
Interviews with relatives of Easter Rising rebels
Many of the relatives of the of rebels who took part in one of the most important events in Ireland’s history – the Easter Rising – have agreed to be interviewed to give their take on the importance of the Easter Rising and the impact that their heroic ancestor has had on their own life.
This section includes interviews with relatives of:
Tell us what your Irish heritage means to you
Did you know?Singing Cork barman has fans across the world - a video of the Irish music loving barman singing while he poured a pint went viral as people became enchanted by his easy going style and great voice. Check out his video.
Have you heard about…Irish people warned about the ‘Celtic curse’ - a potentially deadly blood condition, that harms the liver, heart and pancreas, has been labelled the ‘Celtic Curse’ because more people in Ireland are prone to it than people from other countries. Find out more.
What about this…‘Irish giant’ Tom Crean was one of the bravest and toughest explorers of the early part of the 20th century. Thanks to his positivity and faith, he managed to not only survive horrific conditions but also save the lives of his colleagues. Find out more.