When the wreck of Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance was found nearly 10,000 feet below the surface of Antarctica’s Weddell Sea in March 2022, it was located just 4 miles from its last known position, as recorded by the Endurance’s captain and navigator, Frank Worsley, in November 1915.


That’s an astonishing degree of accuracy for a position determined with mechanical tools, book-length tables of reference numbers, and pen and paper.


The expedition looking for the ship had been searching an undersea area of 150 square miles – a circle 14 miles across. Nobody knew how precise Worsley’s position calculation had been, or how far the ship might have traveled while sinking.






NEW YORK — Bishop Mario Dorsonville remembers a conversation he once had with a woman named Rosalinda in a doctor’s office. Rosalinda, a migrant, had legs full of cactus thorns from her journey through the desert to get to the U.S., but she explained that’s not what hurt most.




“The pain of leaving my country and my grandparents. Those are the terrible thorns that I have in my heart,” Rosalinda told Bishop Dorsonville, an auxiliary bishop of Washington and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Migration Committee chair.




Iriah South America

Journey to Brazil in 1863




The Ten-Mile Day

Toward the end of the line, Crocker was so convinced of the skill of his Irish and Chinese workers that he decided to try for a record by laying 10 miles of track in one day. April 28, 1868 was the appointed day, and Crocker had prepared well. "One by one, platform cars dumped their iron, two miles of material in each trainload, and teams of Irishmen fairly ran the five-hundred-pound rails and hardware forward," writes author David Bain. "Straighteners led the Chinese gangs shoving the rails in place and keeping them to gauge while spikers walked down the ties, each man driving one particular spike and not stopping for another, moving on to the next rail; levelers and fillers followed, raising ties where needed, shoveling dirt beneath, tamping and moving on...." Watching the scene was a team of soldiers. Its commander praised Crocker and his workers for their effort to lay so much rail in so little time. "Mr. Crocker, I never saw such organization as that; it was like an army marching over the ground and leaving a track built behind them."





Leaving Ireland for Argentina



Since 1973, an estimated 13 million African-American babies have been killed by abortion. That’s more than the number of black deaths caused by AIDS, accidents, heart disease, cancer and violent crime, combined!




When the French commander sailed back to Martinique, a Munster man, Colonel Thomas Fitzmaurice (b. Kerry 1725) was appointed Governor of Saint Eustatia. As the war ended, he used personal contacts with Lord Shelburne (the British prime minister with estates in Kerry) to prevent any embarrassing disclosures and persecutions of wartime smugglers (Ibid.: 226). Thomas Fitzmaurice himself would go on to hold important appointments in the long-established French colonies of Cayenne and Guadeloupe, other footholds from which to secure Irish careers within the Caribbean (Hayes 1949: 96).


Studies Latin America







III. ‘La mission irlandaise’ of John Stritch (1650-1661)


The beginning of the Cromwellian campaign in 1649 had a devastating impact on the activities of Catholic clergy in Ireland (Corish 1981: 47). The Episcopal hierarchy was swept away. Of the twenty-seven bishops resident in Ireland in 1648, only one was still in his diocese in 1653 (Cregan 1979: 85-87). Within this context, there were no resources to promote missionary initiatives. However, in 1650 the Irish Jesuit John Stritch of Limerick (1616-1681) was sent to St. Christophe to join his French confreres, who, in 1647, replaced the Capuchins expelled by De Poincy in 1646 (Pelleprat 1655: 36-37). The presence of Stritch corresponded to a precise strategy elaborated by the French Jesuit authorities, who aimed to provide an Irish missionary for his fellow countrymen residing in the English part of the island. [12]


Part of Stritch’s mission is documented through the first-hand account of Pierre Pelleprat, a Jesuit active on St. Christophe when the Irish priest arrived on the island. Stritch established a small chapel at Point-de-Sable, close to the English border, where most of the Irish lived. Their reception of Stritch seemed extremely positive as a large number of them immediately began to secretly visit his mission, thus ignoring the risks of being arrested by the English authorities (Pelleprat 1655: 37). During his three months residence at Point-de-Sable, Stritch administered the sacraments, heard confessions, and baptised the children. Soon Point-de-Sable counted 3000 Irishmen. Using St. Christophe as a base, Stritch also extended his missionary range and visited Montserrat where, disguised as a wood merchant, he secretly set up an altar, and celebrated mass in the tropical forest. Due to escalating English persecutions of his fellow countrymen, Stritch contacted Charles Houel, French governor of Guadeloupe, where, in 1653, he accompanied a number of Irishmen forced to leave St. Christopher. Until 1662, the year of his return to Ireland, [13] Stritch continued to visit Montserrat, but centred his work on St. Christopher. His mission seemed so successful, that, according to Pelleprat, his confrere had converted more than 400 English and Irish Protestants (Pelleprat 1655: 36-37).


The results of Stritch’s mission seemed too outstanding for one single man. Moreover, his secret meetings with the Irish Catholics of Montserrat were not so secret after all. In 1654, a set of depositions made by three witnesses to the Earl of Mulgrave revealed that Roger Osborne, successor of Briskett, tolerated de facto the presence of Stritch (Gwynn 1932: 224-228). The fact that the priest could say mass and administer the sacraments in the woods was a form of compromise which anticipated events that would unfold during the Penal Era (Akenson 1997: 45). Moreover, the figures associated with Stritch’s mission attracted criticisms. The inflated number of Irish Catholics visiting Stritch at Point-de-Sable had to be reduced to 1,500, according to the Dominican Jean-Baptiste Du Tertre. He also claimed that, before Stritch’s arrival, the Irishmen of St. Christopher had enjoyed the spiritual assistance of Capuchins, a few Dominicans, and several Irish priests, although this latter point is very improbable (Dutertre 1671 III: 298-301). Even within the Jesuit order, the extravagant figures of Pelleprat were debated. In 1661, André Castillon, Jesuit superior of the Paris province, informed Propaganda that Stritch had converted ‘thirty men, half Irish and half English’, almost ten times less than the number claimed by Pelleprat. [14]


The delay with which the Roman ministry was informed of Stritch’s mission is not surprising. Since its foundation, Propaganda had a turbulent relationship with the Society of Jesus that wanted to maintain absolute autonomy over its missionary enterprises (Codignola 1995: 203). A further striking aspect of Stritch’s activity is the complete absence of natives. This might be imputed to the fact that, throughout the 1650s, all the English settlements were vulnerable to the raids of the Caribs which likely prevented the Irish Jesuit to enter into contact with the natives (Bridenbaugh 1972: 172).



introduction of

The Southern Cross


newspaper in 1875 is the first undertaking to uphold the identity of

the Irish within the larger British community. The

Cross was founded by Fr Fahy's successor, Fr Patrick

Joseph Dillon, who went from Ireland to Argentina

with the express intention of building a distinct

identity for the Irish (versus the English), and to bring them closer to the Argentine bourgeoisie. This intent was successful within the larger portion of Irish-Argentines, whose religious ideals were politically manipulated.

A social map of the Irish-Argentines in the last decade of the nineteenth century would allow the following classification. Firstly, the Standard group (after The Standard newspaper of the Mulhall brothers), with Duggan, Maguire, Gaynor, and other wealthy families as its members, politically pro-British and shonee




James Dooner to Timothy Michael Healy, M.P., 14 September 1889 (Kilbeggan, County Westmeath)


The Undersigned, James Dooner, humbly begs to bring under your kind consideration the following facts, trusting you will take the trouble of having me remunerated for the great loss I have sustained.


Firstly, I am a poor dealer, going round with my donkey and wares. I have a wife and eleven children, eight of which were earning more or less, when I was induced to apply for tickets for passages, in March last, to bring us out to the Argentine Republic. We duly received documents, which we duly filled up and had signed as directed, and forwarded them to the Agent. The Agent in Cork, Mr. Marley, wrote me to have all ready about the 15th March, 1889.



Timothy M. Healy

In consequence of these communications, I disposed of my donkey, my little furniture, and, above all, of a large heap of manure - the greatest loss, as I have now no potatoes. My children have all lost their employment, and are scattered over England, &c., and are now of no use to me or my wife. The above true facts will, I am sure, bring before you what must be the real state of us after being disappointed and completely left destitute by those misrepresentations of the Argentine Republic Agents. Trusting you will see after us, and God may bless you always, I am your very humble,

James Dooner

About 1,700 Irish emigrants were deceived by the government immigration agents John Stephen Dillon and H. Buckley O'Meara, and sailed from Cobh to Buenos Aires in early 1889 to encounter enormous difficulties for them and their families.







IRISH in ENGLAND: Father George Montgomery sent in 1850 to Wednesbury to establish a Roman Catholic mission. Born in Dublin in 1818, the son of a former Lord Mayor of Dublin, Montgomery grew up in wealthy, staunchly Protestant, family, an unlikely background for one who would spend much of his life serving a Catholic community in one of the harshest corners of industrial England. After taking Holy Orders in the Church of Ireland and then a period caring for parishes in Sligo and Dublin, Montgomery was one of many Anglican priests to convert to Roman Catholicism during the 1840s and 1850s. Admitted to Oscott College, a Catholic seminary in Birmingham, Montgomery was ordained as a priest in 1849. After a period of study in Rome, Montgomery returned to England, lecturing to Catholics in Bilston, a south Staffordshire coal mining community, from where he was sent to neighbouring Wednesbury (Marshall 2005: 46).

As the Wednesbury mission became secure, Fr Montgomery concentrated his attention on education and emigration, expounding his views of these subjects in The Rev. G. Montgomery's Register. [1] Published on an occasional basis from August 1867 and circulated both within the parish and to friends beyond, the four-page newssheet featured a mix of local church news, passionate declarations concerning the position in England of poor Catholics and extracts from letters that he had received from former parishioners emigrants living in the United States. Montgomery was convinced that the British state was utterly untrustworthy and was possessed with an irreconcilable hatred of the Catholic religion. Certain that the state's recent interest in subsidising Catholic schools was to exert control through financial means, Montgomery called for self-reliance, urging priests and laity to establish and maintain schools on a strictly independent basis, setting an example with the Wednesbury mission school. But while education remained a major concern, it was to emigration that Montgomery dedicated much of his energy.


Soon after taking up his position in Wednesbury, Montgomery began receiving letters from Irish former residents of the town who had emigrated to the United States, hundreds of whom had settled in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. These letters frequently contained paid passages for emigrants' friends and relations who had been left behind in Wednesbury, a fact that caused Montgomery to observe that his mission was in effect serving as a depot for United States-bound emigrants. Recognizing this reality, Montgomery felt justified in directly intervening in the migration process, taking it upon himself to investigate possible new destinations and to enter into negotiations with their agents. Indeed, given the conditions that prevailed in Wednesbury, not only did he feel that it was appropriate to assist his parishioners to emigrate, he felt that it was his duty to do so, declaring: 'We hear our divine Saviour saying, ‘When they persecute you in one state, flee ye to another,' and we look whither we may flee to obey this precept' (RMR, Vol. 1, No. 6, 19 October 1867).


Montgomery argued that if the Irish were to remain in England, it was vital that they improve their position economically as 'without temporal prosperity - speaking of the run of mankind, and taking people in masses - there can be no spiritual prosperity' (RMR, Vol. 1, No. 5, 28 September 1867). He felt, however, even a modest standard of living in England was an unrealistic goal, with the best that he might achieve would be 'to dress the wounds of the perishing wayfarer' (RMR, Vol. 1, No. 5, 28 September 1867). For there to be a hope of eternal salvation, Montgomery concluded that the Irish must escape England, to be 'conveyed to a place where [they] may be thoroughly taken care of' (RMR, Vol. 1, No. 5, 28 September 1867). Acknowledging, however, the Church's ambivalent attitude with regard to emigration from Ireland itself, Montgomery was at pains to point out that the situation of the Irish in England was entirely different:


I am not disturbing a people who are at home contented and settled, but I am trying to direct their migrations people who are on the move in search of a home. To my view the Irish in England, considered as a body, are like the traveller in the Gospel, who lay in the way ‘stripped and wounded and half dead'. The poor people are wounded with five grievous wounds. They are suffering compulsory and extreme poverty; they are strangers in the land; they are expatriated strangers, who have neither country nor home; their progeny is becoming extinct in the cities and great towns of England; and their children are apostatising from the Catholic faith (RMR, Vol. 1, No. 5, 28 September 1867).




Montgomery first considered an Oregon settlement scheme, and in 1853 he unsuccessfully sought funds to visit the United States where he hoped to find wealthy Irish-American patrons willing to finance agricultural settlements in the western territory. Of his motives behind this plan, Montgomery later recalled, 'it seemed to me a pity that the expatriated Catholic peasants of Ireland should die out in the English towns - a miserable proletarian population without religion or patriotism.' (RMR, Vol. 1, No. 1, 31 August 1867). Although he believed that the spiritual condition of Catholics in the United States was slightly better than was the case of those in England, he lamented the danger to faith and morals that Catholics continuously faced in both of these Protestant-dominated countries. Considering the negative influences in both England and the United States, Montgomery was keen to encourage migration to a Catholic country, one where the Irish would enjoy protection, security of faith and morals, impossible, agreed Henry Formby, a fellow Catholic priest and admirer of Montgomery, either in England or in 'the mixed and often godless society of the United States' (Formby 1871: 10-11).


Rejecting the United States, Montgomery instead looked towards South America as a possible destination for the Irish poor in England. How exactly he became such a fervent proponent of Brazil is not entirely clear but he was clearly attracted by the Brazilian government's land colonisation programmes that sought to encourage independent family farms. Montgomery maintained that agriculture, rather than manufacturing or industry, was the more 'eligible' way of life, and was convinced that 'as God had given the earth to the children of men', it was the necessary work of both 'enlightened statesmanship' and 'Christian Charity' to assist families of destitute workers to migrate overseas where they could take possession of uninhabited fertile lands that were awaiting exploitation (Formby 1871: 11-14). Montgomery himself recorded that he began to seriously consider the practical possibility of Brazil as a destination for emigrants from the British Isles in 1866 after reading an article in the Standard (6 April 1866), a London newspaper. 'In no latitude,' the article extolled, 'can there be discovered greater national wealth. The surface is enormous, the soil exuberant, the seaports are magnificent, the navigable rivers unparalleled, the mines inexhaustible; and yet Brazil pines for people.' With such a country apparently yearning for immigrants, Montgomery entered into correspondence with the article's author, said to be an Englishman who had lived in Brazil for fifteen years. Encouraged by all that he heard, Montgomery went on to canvass the opinions of others who had first-hand experience of the country. Amongst these was Joseph Lazenby, an Irish Jesuit at the Colégio do Santissimo Salvador in Desterro, the capital of Santa Catarina, who told him of an apparently successful agricultural colony in the southern province largely inhabited by Irish men and families from New York. Having satisfied himself that Brazil (and in particular Santa Catarina) was 'a fit place for the settlement of poor Catholics astray in England' (RMR, Vol. 1, No. 2, 28 September 1867), with support growing for the emigration scheme - with some going so far as to believe that Brazil offered the best hope of an Irish cultural renaissance, with the Irish language being the future language of the settlement (UN, 15 February 1868) - Montgomery began to take practical measures to assist his parishioners to emigrate.