An amazing documentary has sprung up on YouTube detailing the end of a staunchly Irish neighborhood in New York City. Goodbye to Glocamorra was an RTE commissioned piece that aired in 1968. It charts the rise of Inwood, referring to it as "the last of the Irish slums." The documentary is presented in such a way to show that the Irish were becoming part of the "white flight" and were fleeing the city. It begins with the words, "Five years ago, these apartment buildings were Irish to the last man, woman, and child. Today, their defenses have begun to crumble. The first Puerto Ricans have moved in. The first Negroes have moved in. And more will certainly follow."
The language is sympathetic to those who are moving into the neighborhood, namely Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and African-Americans. The language is not completely politically correct. One person interviewed is Mark Barrett, American born of Irish descent who grew up in Inwood. Barrett has just graduated from Fordham University and is aware of the changes coming to his home. Barrett says, "Most of the Negroes who do move in here are the middle class of the Negro community, and they are on their way up, and they are really not too much interested in causing trouble. So in actuality, the Irish are afraid of a ghost."
Heavily featured in the documentary is the congregation of the Church of the Good Shepherd which still stands at 4967 Broadway in Inwood. Though it mainly caters to Spanish speaking Catholics these days. The documentary then moves up to Gaelic Park in the Bronx, showing the more social side to the Irish community. Also featured is the local amateur dramatic society. it's from this segment the documentary gets his title, Glocamorra being the fictional town in the schmaltzy Finian's Rainbow. The local society is putting on a performance of the show with some of the songs featured in the documentary.
According to Crossing Broadway: Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City, it was in the 1970s when Inwood's demographics changed. The book cites the closing of the area's many Irish bars as one key factor in the change. Around the same time, crime rose in the area, as it did in every part of the city.
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