Skryne man in bid to build Irish-American museum in Washington

Story by Ann Casey

Wednesday, 23rd March, 2011 4:50pm

Skryne man in bid to build Irish-American museum in Washington

Robert Hogan pictured with former presidential candidate, John McCain, at a private fundraiser in New York.

A Skryne native is one of the driving forces behind a US campaign to create an Irish-American museum in Washington DC.

Robert Hogan has been supporting the campaign spearheaded by Limerick-born, Carl Shanahan, to create the museum to honour Ireland's legacy in America.

Mr Hogan points out that an estimated 37 million US residents who claimed Irish ancestry the Irish-American population in the United States is more than eight times the population of Ireland itself.

He runs a PR and marketing company, SEO Professionals, which is backing the campaign and he is also involved in fundraising for the project.

He says that, for generations, Irish-Americans have impacted every aspect of US life, from the arts to sport, science and technology to politics and many other professions.

"Hundreds of world-famous names, including former President JF Kennedy, actor George Clooney, President Barack Obama, talk show presenter Conan O'Brien and performer Bruce Springsteen claim Irish roots. The museum will be a state-of-the-art facility housing traditional museum displays to preserve and present artifacts of Irish and Irish-American history. It is anticipated that it will have a genealogical research centre, a library of books, articles, music and video on topics of Irish and Irish-American interest.

"The museum will have a recording facility to produce oral histories and a state-of-the-art cinema to present audiovisual material produced by the museum and by outside sources on topics of Irish-American interest. It will have a interactive and educational website of archive samples, video, audio," he said.

Mr Hogan added that the campaign believes the Irish-American Museum belongs in Washington to reflect the Irish legacy that is evident all across North America.

He said that Irish-Americans, just like every other ethnic group, are being assimilated into American society. As this happens, Irish traditions and history are being watered down and lost.

"Every time an Irish-American dies, a bit of history dies with him or her. Before it is too late, we must preserve our memories, our artifacts, our history."

He said they needed to record oral histories documenting the lives and memories of those Irish-Americans who helped build the US.

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