Fighting Irish

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602 S. Gay Street
2nd Floor
Knoxville, TN 37902

As regards your Mr. Neely’s suggestion that any remains of Irishtown are all but gone [“The Ghost of Irish Town,” Secret History, March 17, 2011], it brought to mind the great 18th century Irish MP Sir Boyle Roche’s declaration, “While I write this letter, I have a pistol in one hand and a sword in the other.”

Wasn’t it Mr. Neely himself I saw swilling the nectar of barley and hops just last Thursday at the annual gathering of his coined-sometime-in-the-dusky-past Order Of The North Gay Street Hibernians? It was indeed, and it certainly appeared that he was enjoying the festivities himself, though loudly proclaiming he was merely “expanding” his research. No Irishtown? Why that’s like saying there’s no Fenian Brotherhood, or that there exists a good British whiskey.

Just as surely as there’s a St. Patrick’s Day, there’s still an Irishtown found just on the “other side of the tracks.” So as it is so commonly said in these parts, “Come see us”!

Virginia O’Hanlon


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