You could say that the Chicago area cranks out Irish-American politicians as fast as green beer sells on St. Patty’s day. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but in some regards, it’s not so far from truth. Think of how many local politicians come from Irish decent; there’s Gov. Pat Quinn, Senate President John Cullerton, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Congressman Joe Walsh. The City of Chicago has elected plenty of Irish blood as well. We may have bid adieu to two of Chicago’s most notorious Irish politicians—former mayors Richard J. Daley and Richard M. Daley—but Ald. Patrick O’Connor, Ald. Matthew O’Shea, and Ald. Edward Burke have ties to the Emerald Isle.
Today on the Afternoon Shift with Steve Edwards, we gear up for St. Patty’s Day by examining what role the Irish have played in Chicago politics past and present. We’ll talk with Chicago Alderman Edward Burke, Columbia College professor Dominic Pacyga and author/filmmaker Mary Pat Kelly.