There are many extraordinary tales to tell about the Irish in Latin America. The story of the Saint Patrick’s Batallion who fought courageously with the Mexican army in the war of 1846-1848 is known by most Mexican School children. In the 17th century, the Wexford-born William Lamport or Guillén de Lombardo was to become an important precursor to the Mexican independence movement and today a statue in his memory can be found inside the Ángel de la Independencia on Paseo de la Réforma. A central square in Caracas is named after Daniel Florence O’Leary who fought and served as the right hand man of Simón Bolívar in the Revolutionary wars of South America whilst other Irish names, now Hispanicised, have resonance throughout Latin America, names like Obregón, O’Farril, Murfín and O’Donojú. Bodies such as the Society for Irish Latin-American Studies have carried out extensive research into this history. Historic documents relating to the extraordinary life of William Lamport are being published by the Biblioteca Nacional Mexicana.
To this day there remain vibrant Irish communities across Latin America. In Mexico these can be found in cities such as Mexico City, Guadalajara, Querétaro and Cancún. If you want to attend or get involved in Irish community activities please let us know. Find out how the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can assist Irish communities through schemes such as the Emigrant Support Programme or the Presidential Distinguished Service Award.