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The Spirit of the Irish!

Catherine McCoy and Edward Applegate, her American husband

Catherine McCoy and Edward Applegate, her American husband

My maternal grandmother, Catherine McCoy, was born in Ireland on May 9, 1897 and was baptized according to the Rites of the Catholic Church in the Church of St. Patrick, Crossmaglen, in the County of Armagh.

Even in her sixties, you were certain that Grandma Catherine must have just breezed in from Ireland the day before because, what this delicate lady described, with her slight brogue, and her blazing blue eyes, was a vivid word picture of honest hard working folk, in Irish villages and towns, helping each other and trusting in their faith to make it all right.

In fact, Catherine lived her life in America – as her Church would have it.  But life in America didn’t begin when she was Sixty – as one who heard her might suspect.  Catherine left Ireland by boat for New York and sailed the wine dark sea with her parents when she was only six years of age.

Catherine knew Ireland, in all its glorious wonder and sorrow, through her father’s eyes, from many dinner table conversations, while coming of age in America.  The spirit of Ireland, born in her, was nurtured by her parents, and defined who she was. Continue reading