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Project seeks life stories of 50s-era San Francisco Irish

March 6, 2015
Christina Gray

Irish-American Crossroads, a cultural nonprofit that aims to share the Irish experience in the Americas, wants to bring the contributions of Irish San Franciscans to life with a project called the Irish Oral History Archive.

“Part of what we are driven by is to record the Irish experience and cherish our history for future generations,” Irish Crossroads co-producer Margaret McPeake told Catholic San Francisco.“The story of the Irish community in this region has not been well recorded or well written about.”

The archive is seeking men and women from the 1950s generation of Irish immigrants to San Francisco, said McPeake. Her team of interviewers is talking to people born in Ireland in the earliest part of the 20th century who came to the Bay Area between 1948 and 1963.

McPeake says interview subjects who volunteer to become part of the archive talk about why they came to San Francisco, what community they lived in, what kind of work they did and what traditions, values and practices they maintained.

“We are also committed to capturing the stories of the descendants of Irish immigrants to the San Francisco Bay Area, including men and women who are second, third, fourth, and fifth generations removed from the immigrant experience,” she said.

Samples of the archive’s interviews can be viewed at irishamericancrossroads.org. Included is Father Michael Healy, pastor of St. Bartholomew Parish in San Mateo.

To volunteer for the Oral History Archive visit irishamericancrossroads.org.

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