So which is the most Irish town in America?
Last week we said Scituate 30 miles from Boston is home to the highest population density of Irish Americans in the U.S.
In the latest census data almost 50 percent of residents there are of Irish decent. It is one of a cluster of towns on Boston’s South Shore that Irish have colonized. At least 44 percent of the population in Braintree, Hull, Marshfield, Avon, Pembroke, and Milton claim Irish ancestry also.according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
But some folks disputed our figures.
Namely the folks in Breezy Point, New York and Spring Lake New Jersey begged to differ -- both claiming the title.
At first glance it appeared they had a case......
Breezy Point has the highest numbers of Irish according to the census, at 60.3. But the problem is the beautiful area on the outskirts of Rockaway in Queens is not a proper incorporated town.
It is actually a massive co-operative combining three smaller areas.
In 1962 the residents purchased 500 acres of land from the government at below value cost and the community became a co-operative.
The Census Bureau says only that it has the highest number of Irish per zip code, not that it is the largest town with Irish population.
So Scituate fends off that challenge.
Now Spring Lake New Jersey is also claiming the prize and indeed the US census for 2000 awards them that title -- or does it?
Like Breezy Point, Spring Lake is an ocean community that swells with vacationers. during the summer.
It is famous for the shark attacks in 1916 that killed four victims and later inspired Peter Benchley to write ‘Jaws.’
On the Irish front the census in 2000 said that 39 per cent of the population was of Irish extraction.
But Scituate, a much larger town, at 17,000 plus residents as against 3,500 has almost 50 per cent.
So Scituate wins that too.
And keeps its title as most Irish town in America.
Adding insult to injury for New York and New Jersey six other towns in Massachusetts have a larger Irish population.
No wonder quarterback Tom Brady is so popular up there.