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Ohio County Public Library | Online Calendar

LUNCH WITH BOOKS: Pittsburgh Irish with Gerard O'Neil and Music by Gerard Rohlf

March 19, 2019

Event starts at 12:00 PM.


Pittsburgh Irish with Gerard O'Neil and Music by Gerard Rohlf

Gerard O'Neil, Duquesne University’s Assistant Archivist and author of Pittsburgh Irish: Erin on the Three Rivers, will share how rogues, rebels, and the respectable all lived, worked, and fought in Western Pennsylvania. Tales of the region’s Irish heritage will be accompanied by a selection of songs performed by Gerard Rohlf.

Irish heritage in the Ohio Valley stretches back to colonial times, when Presbyterians from the Irish province of Ulster pushed the frontier west and settled western Pennsylvania. By 1830 the Pennsylvania Canal connected the city to eastern markets and brought fresh waves of Irish workers. They settled in “Old Galway,” roughly Fifth and Liberty today, and constructed the first St. Patrick’s Church by the canal pond and foot bridge. Many of these early immigrants were skilled or semi-skilled workers, more so than in other American cities.

By the 1840s, the flow of Irish Catholic immigrants had become a flood. Facing resentment in the city, they established themselves as key members of the community, by founding schools, hospitals and fraternal orders. After the Civil War, the Irish worked in the mines and mills that were the foundation of a growing industrial economy, and many became agitators for labor reform. Today, their descendants, along with recent immigrants continue to celebrate their Irish heritage in music, song, and dance.

Bio: Gerard O’Neil has lived in the Pittsburgh area for over twenty years and has a MA in Public History from Duquesne University, where he currently works in the archives. He is also an adjunct writing instructor at La Roche College, and provides sound systems for numerous cultural events in the Pittsburgh area. He specializes in obscure, esoteric, and unusual historical and anthropological topics.

Plus music by Gerard Rohlf.

Lunch With Books: March 5 at noon - Medical Women of Wheeling

Facebook event page.

- Tuesday, March 19, 2018 - 
Lunch With Books starts at noon in the Library Auditorium. 

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Ohio County Public Library

The Ohio County Public Library serves all persons who live in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia, which includes Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler counties. Residents in Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe counties of Ohio and Washington, Greene and Allegheny counties of Pennsylvania may also receive library services. 

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