The novel 'Galway Bay' explores Irish history, from Ireland to Chicago

March 16, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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Mary Pat Kelly's book explores her family's journey to Chicago from Ireland.

Thursday, many Chicago lads and lasses will honor the Emerald Isle and St. Patrick in their own particular way, but there was a time when practically anyone you kissed in this city was Irish. Immigrants flooded Chicago during the great potato famine, but few ever really left behind their island home. Take Honora Kelly. Her family came to Chicago to escape starvation. Two generations later Honora’s grandson Edward Kelly became mayor of this city.

And now, her great-great-granddaughter Mary Pat Kelly shares her ancestor’s story in the historical novel, Galway Bay. Kelly’s writing and filmmaking careers have drawn heavily on her Irish roots. The Chicago native joined Eight Forty-Eight to discuss her own personal Irish lore. The novel is based on her family’s journey to Chicago from Ireland. It's also currently being developed into a miniseries, which will be shot in Ireland and Chicago.