Seton Hall University’s Irish cultural society, Pirates of Irish Persuasion & Extraction, is currently hosting an Irish Studies Discussion Series.
The series features different events discussing Irish and Irish American Heritage. Specifically, they focus on the Irish experience in America.
“There is a lot of Irish heritage running throughout the area and among the student body and there seems to be a significant interest in the subject,” senior Eric Fitzsimmons, PIPE president, said. “The Irish heritage is here, we just want to give it an outlet.”
The series began in January with a discussion about and performance of Irish music in America.
“They told us about the history of their music and about their history and performed for us a little bit,” Maura Harrington, instructor in the English Department and organizer for the PIPE discussion series, said.
This event was followed in February by a presentation on Irish Americans in Law Enforcement and the Military. There was also a third event, which focused on the history of St. Patrick’s Day parades. All of the presenters are Irish-Americans from New Jersey and many are Seton Hall alumni.
The fourth event in the series was held on Tuesday, March 23 and focused on the Irish in Newark. Msgr. Robert J. Wister, professor of Church History at Seton Hall, spoke to the audience about the history of Irish-Americans in the early years of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Rob Lynch, owner of the Kilkenny Alehouse in Newark and president of the Montclair Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish group, also spoke at the event. He discussed his experiences running an Irish business and participating in events with the Irish community in Newark.
The final discussion in this semester’s series will focus on Irish Sports in America and will take place on Tuesday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Nursing Building room 102. This event will focus on sports like hurling and Gaelic football.
“There is a lot of the tacky St. Patrick’s Day Irish going around and we just want to encourage the rich Irish culture that people seem to forget,” said Fitzsimmons.
The University’s Walsh Library Archives and Special Collections Center is the home of the MacManus Irish History and Literature Collection. The University also regularly offers courses on Irish and Irish-American history, as well as Irish theatre, but has no Irish Studies department.
“There is no official Irish Studies department so we just wanted to have an extra forum for students and members of the community to come and just talk about issues that are of interest to the Irish-American community,” said Harrington.
In addition to the lecture series PIPE is also planning a trip to Newark on Saturday March 27. Students will go with Tuesday’s presenters to visit both St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Kilkenny Ale House.
The organization is currently planning an April date to go to Gaelic Park in New York to attend a Gaelic Football game.
All events in the series are free of charge and open to the public.
Alyana Alfaro can be reached at email@example.com.