The office of Certificate of Irish Heritage and Ireland of Welcomes are inviting readers to share their ancestors’ stories and receive a complimentary Certificate to celebrate their Irish heritage.

This issue we hear from Maureen McCarthy from Florida. Claim Your Irish Heritage Would you like your own Certificate of Irish Heritage? Simply send your story (maximum 200 words) of how your ancestors arrived in your current country along with a photo to or by post to: Certificate of Irish Heritage, FEXCO Centre, Langford St., Killorglin, Co. Kerry, Ireland. Those picked will be presented with their certificate and their story will appear in a forthcoming issue of Ireland of Welcomes. “My father Timothy McCarthy was born in Dromtrasna North (O’Brien), Co. Limerick on February 15, 1907.

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Maureen McCarthy[/caption]

He sailed from Cobh and arrived in NYC on March 19, 1929, as great Depression was unfolding. He lived with an older brother John and soon was employed to work on NY subways as a motorman. My mother, Bridget Hester was born February 12, 1912 in Ballinagore, Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon. She sailed from Galway Bay and arrived in NYC on May 17, 1930, joining her older brother Patrick and her sister Sarah. Both parents came through Ellis Island, met and married in NYC then returned to Ireland on their honeymooon in 1934. With few employment opportunities in Ireland, they returned to NYC where they reared their five children. Dad returned to his previous position as a subway motorman while Mom was a full-time homemaker. Mom often praised Mantua National School, Co. Roscommon and her teacher Master Kelly.

Dad was a master story teller, historian and nationalist who shared what it meant to struggle for independence and days of Black and Tan. They instilled in their children a love of Irish history, music and culture which was carried with me to many places where I worked, including Caribbean, Asia and Africa. To obtain this Certificate of Irish Heritage is to fulfill McCarthy motto: “Forti et Fideli Nil – To brave and faithful nothing is difficult.”