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Liam Neeson

The Chieftains and Liam Neeson collaborate on song about the San Patricios

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Liam Neeson

The Chieftains and Liam Neeson are set to collaborate together on the legendary Irish folk group’s next album in a song to commemorate the San Patricios, a group of Irish soldiers who fought in the Mexican Army  against the U.S. army the during the war between the two countries from 1846-1848.

The Irish men were originally part of the U.S. Army, but joined the Mexican Army and fought against U.S. troops in five battles.

The San Patricios battalion made a reputation for itself for fighting valiantly at the Battle of Buena Vista on February 22, 1847 and gained the respect of their enemy in the process.

Just under fifty of the fighters were captured after the Battle of Churubusco on August 20, 1847 and were found guilt of desertion and sentenced to death.

Neeson is set to voice one of the monologues that tell the story of the Irish men in the Mexican army.

"These were Irishmen who ended up in the U.S. army straight off the boat," Paddy Moloney told the Irish Independent.

"The last place they wanted to be was in Mexico, killing their fellow Catholics. The fact it was a big country, America, beating up on a smaller country, Mexico, reminded them of the situation between Ireland and England. That made them sympathetic to the Mexicans."

The San Patricios were led by Galway born John Reilly and fought under a banner that had St. Patrick on one side and a shamrock and Harp of Erin on the other.

They are remembered twice a year in Mexico; on September 12, the anniversary of their execution and on March 17.

There is a statue dedicated to the San Patricios in Clifden, County Galway, where John Riley was born.

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