I asked Patrick, my younger brother at only 22 years old, if he had found a lot of younger Irish or Irish Americans working on the site. In times like these where it seems an entire generation of Irish is flocking to the States and elsewhere for work, I thought maybe a few would have found their way to the WTC construction site where it’s apparent that there’s work to be had.
However, Patrick said not really, that more of the Irish who were involved have been in the business for a long time. Having J1 visa students working at the site is really unheard of, as getting into the union in the first place is a task in of itself.
“The problem with that,” explained my father, “is that they have to be members of a Union to work here [at the site]. This is a 100 percent Union site.”
“Most of the guys are older, considering I’m so young in the business,” said Patrick about the age of the Irish population of construction workers.
My Dad said the families home in Ireland are “very much so, very much so” proud of those who have gone on to work now at the new World Trade Center.
A work still very much in progress, the Irish and Irish Americans are working again to leave their mark on New York City by rebuilding the once tragically shattered skyline of New York City.
It is a wonderful feeling to know my family and our Irish community is so involved.
Originally published May 2012.