The Irish in Newark and NJ

by Jule Spohn


The exhibit at the Newark Library opened last night and what a turnout. It was the largest turnout for this type of event in the history of the library - anywhere between 200 and 250 people where there.

The exhibit has hundreds of wonderful photo's and articles showing what life was like here in Newark, and in the State of New Jersey, and outlining the contributions that the Irish made to this City and State. It is a wonderful collection of Irish history in this City and State.

It is broken down into two sections - the "Irish In Newark" part is on the second floor lobby. There is a case right by the top of the stairwell with photo's of my TIGHE/CARLIN family - my Great Grandparents Owen and Ann Carlin - one of the "first six policemen" here in Newark (1850-1893); my Grandparents John Thomas and Ann Tighe (Newark Policeman 1890/1910) and all of their children in 1903 and another in 1908 - including my mother - Helen Tighe; and my Uncle John Cornelius Tighe (with the Newark Salvage Corps/Fire Dept 1922/24 - and with the Newark Police Dept 1924/1945).

The exhibit was set up by Brad Small, Curator, there at the Newark Public Library, who did an OUTSTANDING job on this, his first, exhibit. I've been lending a hand to Brad and those working with him on this project for the past few months. I was able to get several of the Newark establishments to "make a contribution" of food and beverages for last night's events and I'd like to mention, and thank, Bragman's Deli; Hobby's Deli; Cryan's Tavern; McGovern's Tavern; the Kilkenny Ale House; and Skippers Plane Street Pub; all came through for me and donated wonderful sandwiches and "liquid libations" for the night's events. Several other individuals and organizations also helped out with donations.

Three members of the McGlone family - father and his two young sons - played the bagpipes on the first floor of the Library to greet the visitors as they entered. Three members of "Ceili Country" were there in Centennial Hall to provide musical entertainment throughout the evening events. And four wonderful young girls from the Schade Academy of Irish Dance performed several Irish dances which everyone there thoroughly enjoyed.

All in all, it was a wonderful way to kick off the beginning of this exhibit. Brad Small and the library staff who worked with him putting this together deserve a lot of credit. If I were a history teacher grading their report I would have to give all of them an A+

And before I forget, I must also mention Dermot A. Quinn - from the History Department of Seton Hall University - who provided much of the "Irish In New Jersey" part of the exhibit - who was the "Guest Curator" of this exhibit working in close conjunction with Brad. The third floor of the Library lobby holds the "Irish In New Jersey" part of the exhibit.

If you are looking for an excuse to come back for a visit to Newark then this is your chance. Parking is available at the parking lot of the Newark Museum on the corner of Central Ave and University Place - across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral.

The exhibit will run from now until May 11th.


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