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The South Shore Irish Heritage trail, a tourist route celebrating the history of Irish immigrants to south coastal Massachusetts will be dedicated in Scituate Harbor on Saturday, May 22. The Trail will be made up of nine towns from Weymouth to Plymouth, an area with one of the highest concentrations of Irish Americans in the United States.
The mission of the Trail is to celebrate the achievements of Irish immigrants and to educate visitors as they take in sites with links to local Irish history. A corollary purpose is to help boost tourism in the nine communities that have helped fund the Trail. Another major contributor has been the Irish government through its Emigrant Support Fund.
From the Hull home of Irish rebel John Boyle O’Reilly, to the Scituate Museum of the Irish mossing industry, to the Kingston grave of an immigrant who died fighting for the Union in the U.S. Civil War, the South Shore has dozens of Irish-themed sites (33 sites to be exact!) that visitors can follow along the trail with the aid of a website and brochures designed for each member community.
The Scituate launch ceremony will begin at the harbor bandstand at 1pm as bells peal in the nine member communities. The bells at Scituate’s Lawson Tower, built by an Irish immigrant, Charles Logue, will ring out a selection of Irish tunes.
The U.S. and Irish national anthems will be sung, one in English , the other in the Irish language. Speakers will include Ireland’s Consul General to Boston, Laoise Moore, regional political leaders and former television anchor Peter Mehegan, a Scituate resident who helped work on development of the Trail.