Being Irish is fun—mostly because the Irish people are a lot of fun. There’s a lot of positivity in the Irish culture, which has a continuing influence on our American culture even today.
Our family originated in County Roscommon in the middle of Ireland. My great grandfather came to America after the potato famine in 1860 or so. Family history has it that my name in Ireland was O’Byrne but was changed to Byrne by my ancestor as he came through Ellis Island. The “O” was dropped to ‘de-Irish’ our name because, at that time, the significant Irish influx was not particularly welcome. The reason given for that attitude was pretty much what we hear today—the industrious Irish were taking jobs from others.
The Irish have both made and make so many significant contributions to our society. There’s something magic about the culture. If you haven’t noticed that in your neighborhood, it is worth a trip to Ireland to understand what I’m talking about.
I’ve visited Ireland five times, and my Scandinavian wife, Lynne, has been there even more often. She LOVES Ireland and especially the Irish people. It’s a destination of choice for her. Lynne is captivated by their generally good nature, humor, stories, music, art, ocean shores and their love of America and Americans—the whole package. And the beautiful, picturesque shining green grasses of their rural landscape are special, too.
If you plan to visit Ireland, be prepared to be peppered with questions about America. They know a whole lot about us but are curious to know even more. Ireland and the Irish are wonderful friends of America…and Americans. I take great pride in my heritage and appreciate the opportunity to share its many cornerstones daily, right here in America.
Editor’s Note: VistaComm has been owned and operated by Bill Byrne for the past 21 years. His Irish spirit drives the ingenuity of our company and country. We celebrate those of Irish heritage a little extra today!