My parents immigrated from Co. Cork Ireland to Butte, MT. ; my mother with her family and my father to work in the mines in Butte with his three uncles. I graduated from Butte Central High School taught by the Christian Brothers of Ireland. I did my military service with the US Navy in the far east and South America. I worked in the mines in Butte, graduated from college, taught school in Canada and became a bank examiner. I have worked in banking for the past 50 years. I am now semi retired.
I am married to Kay together we have three children; Devin, Tara and Keely. We have six grandchildren; Redmond, Frances, Finnegan, Peter, Ruth and Bernadette.
Both my parents were native Irish speakers. They used the language to talk to each other from time to time but did not teach it to the children. After their passing, I did not hear the language spoken again.
In the early ninety’s I attended a meeting with Project Children. The speaker was Michael Culbert from Belfast. He began his talk in Irish. It was the first time I had heard the language in many years. I well remember the thrill I felt upon hearing Michael speak. The desire to be part of the revival of the language and the hope to be able to speak some Irish became a lifelong objective for me that night.