Kelly, Mary Pat
Mary Pat Kelly, a noted writer and filmmaker, is a third generation Irish American whose roots come from Bearna, County Galway. But her gusto for Ireland is unsurpassed.
A graduate of St. Mary of the Woods Colleges and the City University of New York graduate school, Kelly, a native of Chicago, has been to Ireland “more than 75 times,” she says.
“When I stood on that piece of earth on the shores of Galway Bay where my great great grandmother Honora Keeley Kelly was born, I felt a part of me I’d never known was missing was completed” Kelly recalls.
“All the research and study I’d done in Irish history and literature became intensely personal. I never thought I’d find the spot where the Kellys left in the 1850s. It took me 35 years to find them.”
Honora’s story became the basis of Kelly’s novel “Galway Bay.” Her grandson, Ed Kelly, became mayor of Chicago in 1932. “I was honored to tell the story of how the family survived the Great Hunger, escaped to America, came to Chicago and helped build the city of the century,” Kelly says.
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