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September 5 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pmFree
On September 6, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs is hosting the launch of an exhibition entitled The Irish in Latin America in the Miami International Airport. The exhibition will highlight the link between Ireland and Latin America to mark the opening of Aer Lingus’s new route between Dublin and Miami. Author and Irish-historian, Tim Fanning, will be speaking at the exhibition’s opening, but we are excited to announce that he will be joining us the day before for a reading at our flagship location for a presentation of his new book, Paisanos: The Forgotten Irish That Changed the Face of Latin America.
‘An important and necessary volume on the role played by Irish men and women in the emergence of the new, modern and independent republics of Latin America … a welcome contribution to the literature on the history of our exiles and their descendants, this is an exciting and accessible book that is a pleasure to read.’ (From the foreword by Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland)
The epic story of the forgotten Irish men and women who changed the face of Latin America forever. In the early nineteenth century, thousands of volunteers left Ireland behind to join the fight for South American independence. Lured by the promise of adventure, fortune and the opportunity to take a stand against colonialism, they braved the treacherous Atlantic crossing to join the ranks of the Liberator, Simon Bolivar, and became instrumental in helping oust the Spanish from Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Today, the names of streets, towns, schools, and football teams on the continent bear witness to their influence.
But it was not just during wars of independence that the Irish helped transform Spanish America. Irish soldiers, engineers and politicians, who had fled Ireland to escape religious and political persecution in their homeland, were responsible for changing the face of the Spanish colonies in the Americas during the eighteenth century. They included a chief minister of Spain, Richard Wall, a chief inspector of the Spanish Army, Alexander O’Reilly, and the viceroy of Peru, Ambrose O’Higgins.
Whether telling the stories of armed revolutionaries like Bernardo O’Higgins and James Rooke or retracing the steps of trailblazing women like Eliza Lynch and Camila O’Gorman, Paisanos revisits a forgotten chapter of Irish history and, in so doing, reanimates the hopes, ambitions, ideals and romanticism that helped fashion the New World and sowed the seeds of Ireland’s revolutions to follow.
About the Author:
Tim Fanning is an Irish author and historian based in Dublin. In addition to working for a number of Irish and Spanish publications, he is the author of The Fethard-On-Sea Boycott.
Presented in collaboration with the Consulate General of Ireland.