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Mary Pat Kelly and her tour group on St. MacDara's Island.

Mary Pat Kelly's return to Ireland

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Mary Pat Kelly and her tour group on St. MacDara's Island.

Another one of our guides was Sister Maire MacNiallais, the keeper of the church archives in Galway, who had found Honora’s baptismal record in an 1822 ledger. She spoke to our whole group about the responsibility she feels to help Irish Americans connect to their ancestors. They deserve to be remembered.

So even if the resting places are unmarked, and if some of our great-great-great-aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers lie in the mass graves with other victims of the Great Starvation, when we return we honor them. Just as the kings of Ireland found strength standing on the bones of their ancestors, so will we.

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