Longford-based author Aidan O’Hara launches new book A Damn Yankee Am I? Thanks!

A must-read for all interested in the Irish immigrant experience in America

Longford-based author Aidan O’Hara launches his new book A Damn Yankee Am I? Thanks!  in Longford Library on Thursday, 2 February at 7.30pm. All are welcome to attend.

The book explores the growing population of Irish immigrants who found themselves in the United States during the era of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Fully illustrated, the book offers a rich and detailed look at a little-known chapter in American history. It is a must-read for all interested in the American Civil War, Irish history, and the immigrant experience in America.

Aidan O’Hara is a well-known broadcaster, author and historian, who has been living in Longford since 2004. His broadcasting career began in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and continued in RTÉ, where he was a producer and presenter. His many publications include the books I’ll Live Till I Die: The Story of Delia Murphy and Atlantic Gaels: Links between Donegal and the Hebrides. Aidan has also written numerous articles, including in Teathbha, the Journal of County Longford Historical Society.

Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Turlough McGovern, welcomes the book. “Many congratulations to Aidan on this hugely impressive book. I know this book has been a labour of love across many years. It offers a unique perspective with links back to Longford seen in the book. I have no doubt it will be very popular both here in Longford, nationally across Ireland and in America also.”

Longford County Council Chief Executive Paddy Mahon also sees the book as introducing a major subject to a local, national and international audience. “The book shows the extent of Longford and Irish participation in the American Civil War, shedding light on a not-very well-known area of Irish history. I welcome its launch in Longford Library this week.”

Author Aidan O’Hara added, “The era of the Civil War is assessed as being from the start of abolitionism in the 1830s, through the war itself and its aftermath. As well as considering the broad topic of emigration, the book contains many references to Longford people and their part in the Civil War.

“Hundreds of Longford men and descendants of Longford families took part in the war and several of them died, including Hugh Mulvey and Patrick Tiernan from Drumlish, my father’s native place. Peter McLaughlin was a native of Glanmore, County Longford and he fought at the famous Battle of Vicksburg, in the 84th Illinois Volunteers. Other men whose names we have – and not much else – include James Trainor, Edward Brady, George Grier, Michael Nannery, John Masterson and Francis Carey.”

A Damn Yankee, Am I? Thanks! is published by Anam Communications. The book is available through Longford Libraries. It is also available to buy from online retailers, including Amazon and the Book Depository and from local booksellers.

For further information, check out Longfordlibraries.ie or follow Longford Library Services on social media.