Two great stories on Irish, Irish-American history

Dan Barry, one of my favorite New York Times columnists, has produced back-to-back pieces about Irish and Irish-American history. Both are worth the read.

The latest piece is about the excavation of a mass grave of Irish railroad workers who died near Philadelphia during a cholera epidemic in 1832. The remains of one worker were just returned to County Donegal for burial.

On St. Patrick’s Day, the Times published Barry’s story about the amazing collection of Irish historical items accumulated by a County Mayor fish merchant. Be sure to check out the Time’s multimedia presentation and visit the Jackie Clarke Collection website.

In a 2009 “Talk to the Newsroom” feature answering reader questions, Barry had this to say about his career choice:

I became a journalist because I was raised to honor and appreciate the power of the written word. As I’ve written before, my Irish mother was a storyteller by nature; this is how she communicated. And my New York City father emerged from a difficult, Depression-era childhood with a healthy distrust of authority.

Bonus: here is Barry’s 2008 piece, “Does the Real Ireland Still Exist?”