It's Patrick’s week in New York and the city is bedecked in green with the preparations underway for the Fifth Avenue parade, celebrating its 250th anniversary.
For the residents of Woodlawn, on the outskirts of the city boundary, the streets and avenues always have an Irish theme with delis selling soda bread and bars showing the GAA matches from home. Of 122,000 Irish born residents of the United States, many of the elder New York residents live here within streets of each other, maintaining friendships, visiting their local Irish community centre, The Aisling.
Yvonne Judge brings us to Woodlawn during Saint Patrick’s week to meet a few of the elder residents who left Ireland in the 1950s as young men and women.
98 year old Joe Cunningham drives Yvonne around the Bronx in his Buick car, Joe’s wife Rose celebrates her 92nd birthday in the Aisling with cake and soda bread.
Martin O’Malley shows us around Gaelic Park, and listeners will meet Eileen Moran and Julia Doyle, best friends who have lived in the same apartment building for years.
It’s a story of four witnesses to history; the adventures of leaving Ireland on ships, the friendships and matches, the Irish dancehalls and Saint Patrick’s Day in the city where it probably has most resonance; New York.
Produced by Yvonne Judge.
Sound supervision by Richard McCullough and Damien Chennelles.
First broadcast Thursday 17th March 2011.
An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.