John Ford

John Ford

John Ford

John Ford

Excerpt

I come from a family of peasants. They came here and got an education. They served this country well. I love America . I am not political .

--John Ford

From Galway and the Western Isles the way led across the ocean to the sunset. From the east and the sunrise, destruction had always come to Ireland--from the Vikings who had burned the great monasteries, from the Norman conquerors and the black troops of Cromwell, and finally from the Victorian landowners and administrators who thought a great hunger was the way to control a greater Irish population. Starving was their remedy for breeding too much.

Among the white crofts and green hills of western Ireland the potato had been a blessing and a curse, feeding the people until there were ten million of them on the whole island. Then the blight came in 1845, followed by the famine. During the next fifty-five years nearly five million men and women sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to a dream of plenty in North America. They felt not only a hunger for food, but for a respectable life in a new world, free from oppression.

In the village of Spiddal in Galway, John A. Feeney was born just after the time of the famine. Feeney was a Connacht name, spelt in Gaelic Ó Fiannaidhe or Ó Fianna, although the Galway Feeneys spelt it Ó Fidhne. The family lived by the estates of the Morrises, later given the title of the Lords Killanin. The Morrises were Irish and Catholic themselves, no invading conquerors from England; one of them was reared in the Feeney family as a foster child; and there were blood connections between the two families. Over the hill in the next village, the Currans lived. They had a daughter called Barbara, but it was a clannish society and the young people did not meet. To walk over the hill was half as far as crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.