This story is not designed as a definitive
account of the part played in the industrial history of the United
States of America by the people of the ancient kingdom of Mourne in
County Down, Ireland. Rather, I have tried to bring to life
something of their world and struggles during a few tumultuous years
in one industry and in one city of this fair land of the United
States of America. While many of their bones may lie with other
immigrants in a graveyard filled not with the common span of
humanity but the young victims of uncontrolled exploitation and
hardship, I felt it important to leave some testimony of them.
An Honorable Irishman
"Harry Joe" Doyle
1878 - 1965
I feel qualified to do this by relating
something of the history of my paternal grandfather Henry Joseph
"Harry Joe" Doyle. In his lifetime from 1878 to 1965,
Harry Joe played out his allotted role as dreamer, patriot,
adventurer, romantic and above all honourable Irishman.
His life spanned the age of oil lamps to television, from a day out
to the next village on a horse drawn bus, as a middle class
honeymoon, to the age of interplanetary space exploration. At the
time of his birth his own Christian names demonstrate the
submergence of Ireland into the Anglo-dominated world where the sun
could not physically set on the Empire. He lived through world
revolutions and two World Wars to see his native land re-emerge as a
proud Republic and member of the European Community and the United
Politicians and establishments may subvert at
times the path of behaviour and idealistic concepts of any country
and the ambitions of its people. I maintain the intertwined history
and establishment of our two republics cannot be separated from the
sojourns of the Irish here and the presence of their descendants.
Their particular history, character and ambitions while of no more
intrinsic value than that of any other race is never-the-less one,
in which I can take fierce personal pride.
New Jersey, USA. March 2003.