Archive for September, 2015

Oliver’s story – Kerry, now North Dakota.

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

pup“When we were kids, my grandfather, who hailed from County Kerry, used to scare us all by putting a sock on his hand and chase us around the garden pretending he had a monster up his sleeve. Then one day, the Gardai (police) arrived and took him away. We were devastated, until our parents later told us that he wasn’t actually our grandfather, just some weird oul’ fellah who used to love chasing people with socks on his hands. We moved to North Dakota after the fuss died down’. – Oliver (29), Kerry, now North Dakota.

David’s story (Wicklow, now Brooklyn).

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

gard“Before we moved to Brooklyn, my brother was mad into the film, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, you know, the original, with Gene Wilder. Not the Johnny Depp one, sure that’s shite. Anyway, he never got the hang of videos or anything, so he’d record it every time it was on, and even ask the neighbors to record it too. He’d give them tapes and everything. It got to the stage where we’d 276 VHS cassettes of that stupid bloody film in our spare room, and me Da ended up setting fire to them out the back one day for a laugh. It was no joke when me brother came home from work though, I’ll tell you. He threw me Da’s bike over the back wall, and I think the neighbor’s dog might have done something in poor taste to it. We emigrated shortly after’. – David (61), Wicklow, now Brooklyn.

Cheryl’s Story – Missouri, formerly Lucan, County Dublin.

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

A hippo and Dublin girl Cheryl. We’re not sure where the hippo’s from. Probably Sligo.

“We had to leave Ireland back in the early 1980s, following an incident at the circus. My brother Stevie dared me to put on a girl’s wig, take off my trousers and run up to a hippo with a stick in my hand. I’d not done anything quite that zany before, but I thought what the hell. Before we knew it, we were all over the news, and the animal welfare people were calling for me to be put in a military school and to be made do a school project about hippos. I wouldn’t have minded that, but, my folks decided it’d be better all round if we just emigrated’. – Cheryl (27), Lucan, County Dublin, now Missouri.

Darren’s Story (Idaho, formerly Leitrim).

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Left to Right: A toilet, Darren.

“When we emigrated from Leitrim to Idaho back in the early ’80s, there wasn’t much for us kids to do. When we lived in Leitrim, I enjoyed playing all kinds of sports, but upon arriving in our new neighborhood, I realized there were very few children here. So, I began a new hobby. I started collecting toilets. Initially, I’d climb through the windows of derelict houses in the area and just take them, until it got so bad, that we’d 14 unconnected toilets in our bathroom, and there were all kinds of accidents happening, especially when our elderly relatives came to stay. So yeah, I guess now, I ain’t got no hobbies’. – Darren (38) Leitrim, now Idaho.

Clive’s Story (Formerly Kilkenny, now North Dakota).

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Clive, pictured the morning after his 21st birthday.

“Back when I was in school, I seen a spider the size of a medium-sized man’s hand, in the jacks (bathroom). I ran out to Miss O’Shea, our teacher, and said; ‘Miss O’Shea, I just seen a spider the size of me Da’s hand’. It didn’t do no good. She just clattered me around the ear, and said; ‘It’s saw, not seen, Daniel’. I wouldn’t mind, but me name wasn’t Daniel back then. It was Clive”. – Clive (North Dakota, formerly Kilkenny).

Oliver’s Story (Kildare).

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

A busboy, who may or may not be from Kildare.

“My family owned a pub in County Kildare, so, when I emigrated to New York, I wanted to keep that tradition going. Right away, I got a job as a busboy in a Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn, which was owned by a lad from Roscommon at the time. I didn’t speak any Mexican though, and the only words I knew were from that Speedy Gonzalez cartoon. I used to shout ‘arriba, arriba, andale, andale’, at customers, thinking it meant ‘thank you’, when in actual fact, I was earning a reputation for myself as something of an ignorant racist with no manners. I am fairly ignorant, and my manners are atrocious, so I can’t argue with that, but I’m no racist. Sure once I went out with a girl from Belfast, and I even have a few Shakira songs on my iPod, and I think she’s black. Because of all that though, the tips were shite, and I ended up living in a tent just off the Brooklyn-Queens expressway for nearly a year. It was freezin’ and the squirrels kept getting in. I can’t wait to go back to Kildare”. – Oliver (27), Brooklyn, formerly Kildare.


“Humans of Irish America” – Dorothy’s Story

Friday, September 25th, 2015

surf“I was into surfing from a young age. I used to listen to The Beach Boys, and watch surfing films like ‘Point Break’ and ‘Lassie Come Home’, all the time. My experiences actually surfing was limited though, living, as we did, in County Carlow. We were a fair bit from the oceans, but there was a little pond near our house, and we’d get oul’ boards, or broken-off doors, and pretend they were surfboards, but, the water was only 18 inches deep. There was no wind or waves or nothin’ either, so normally you’d just be standing there in the water lookin’ like an oul’ eejit. The pond, seemingly, had also been used as a burial ground by a local Pagans group, for their deceased animals. So, you might fall off your pretend surfboard and land on an oul’ drowned pony or something. So, it wasn’t very nice. We moved to Connecticut a few years back, there’s still hardly any surfing, and most of our neighbors give us funny looks when we jump into the lake attached to an oul’ broken door, but f*ck them, they’re only bastards anyway”. – Dorothy (32), formerly Carlow, now Connecticut.

“Humans of Irish America” – Jackson’s Story (Kerry).

Monday, September 14th, 2015
missing meerkat man

Left to Right: Meerkats, bloke.

“I was kicked out of home when I was 43, as both my parents were allergic to my pets. I’d eleven meerkats and an otter, and they didn’t really get along too well. Plus, I’d christened them all ‘mammy’, except the otter, her name was Graham, so, there was some confusion at times. The smell was disgusting too, before I even got the pets, I think that’s why the meerkats all ran off. When I emigrated to Miami, I left all that shite behind me, and became a securities trader”. – Jackson (61), Tralee, now Miami.

‘Humans of Irish America’ – Stuart’s Story (Limerick).

Monday, September 14th, 2015

A turnip-farmer called Stuart, probably.

“We were turnip-farmers by trade. My grandfather once told me that our family had been since the 18th century, providing the south Limerick and north Kerry area with turnips for generations. Kids would always beg their parents to let them come to our house for wondrous turnip treats. So, when we moved from our 120 acre turnip farm to a small flat in Limerick’s inner city, it was quite a change. We had a small window box, which fit three turnip seeds, and, I don’t know if you know the turnip business, but it takes time to nurture, love and develop such a contrary vegetable, so three adult male turnips every four years was not enough to live on. Three weeks ago, we moved to Chicago, all of us. It’s worked out great, my dad, with forty years farming experience changed direction, and now heads up a $4billion a year software company. It’s just as well, as I was allergic to turnips, even the thoughts of them gave me chronic diarrhea. Excuse me, I’ll be back in a few minutes”. – Stuart (49), formerly Limerick, now Chicago. 

Horace’s Story (Offaly).

Monday, September 14th, 2015

The lads on their way fishing.

We were all fishermen. Me, my brothers, my uncles, even mam would come out on the boat with us. Not Dad though. He used to think the seagulls were staring at him. Later, he developed an intense fear of being attacked by an octopus, so he stayed home, making jam all day. It was hard work, the fishing, not the jam-making, 14-hour days, six to seven days a week. Where we lived didn’t help. We were from Tullamore, County Offaly, which is in the middle of Ireland, so to get to Donegal, it was a nine-hour round trip every day. After years of this, we moved to the USA. What could go wrong for a fisherman there? The Pacific on one side, the Atlantic on the other, perfect! So, we moved somewhere that would be equally close to both oceans. Nobody told us though, that Kansas was so far from the water that some folks called it ‘The Tullamore of America’. It was a 19-hour drive to either coast. I gave up after a while. A neighbor used to give me a lift the first four miles, but then I had to hitchhike the other 1,573. Now I work in a biscuit factory, it’s alright, they let us keep the broken ones. I f**kin’ hate biscuits though”. – Horace (49) Offaly, now Kansas.