Springfield Museums Events April 2014
Museums à la Carte Lecture
April 17th, 12:15 pmGeneral Museum Event
From the Great Blasket to America: The Last Memoir by an Islander
Michael J. Carney and Gerald W. Hayes, co-authors
Mike Carney was born in 1920 on The Great Blasket Island just off the southwest coast of Ireland. Raised under challenging circumstances in that unique and isolated Irish-speaking community, Mike sets out to seek a better future in Dublin - and eventually in Springfield, Massachusetts. The unattended death of his brother from a treatable illness back home set off a chain of events that led to the evacuation of the Island by the government. Mike personally lobbied the great Éamon de Valera to relocate the few remaining Islanders who were living in increasingly desperate conditions. Joining the millions of Irish who emigrated to the United States, Mike settled in Springfield along with two-dozen former Islanders. While taking full advantage of opportunities offered by his adopted country, he never lost his love for the nation of his birth. This is a story of Mike’s persistent efforts to promote Irish culture in America and to preserve the memory of The Great Blasket; to respect and honor roots left behind and to set down new roots in a new land. Both heartbreaking and inspiring, it recounts one man’s life, but speaks to the experience of many.
$2 members; $4 nonmembers
Davis Auditorium, Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts.
The audience is invited to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program; cookies and beverage are provided.
Sponsored by Big Y
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