It is hard to believe but this is our third year at to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day and gives you a chance to be Irish too.  People all over the world bring out even the remotest Irish gene and of course The Irish diaspora get a chance to celebrate being from the land of saints and scholars.  For those of you who are away from Eireann at this special time of year there we have plenty of stories on our Myths and Legends channel and from our almost 300 free audio podcasts, we want to bring your attention again this year to one of the podcasts from our national broadcasters archive.   “To Love Two Countries” recorded during Saint Patrick’s week in New York with the city bedecked in green and preparations underway for the Fifth Avenue parade.. For the residents of Woodlawn, on the outskirts of the city boundary, the streets and avenues always have an Irish theme with delis selling soda bread and bars showing the GAA matches from home. Of 122,000 Irish born residents of the United States, many of the elder New York residents live here within streets of each other, maintaining friendships, visiting their local Irish community centre, The Aisling. 

Yvonne Judge brings us to Woodlawn during Saint Patrick’s week to meet a few of the elder residents who left Ireland in the 1950s as young men and women.   98 year old Joe Cunningham drives Yvonne around the Bronx in his Buick car, Joe’s wife Rose celebrates her 92nd birthday in the Aisling with cake and soda bread.  Martin O’Malley shows us around Gaelic Park, and listeners will meet Eileen Moran and Julia Doyle, best friends who have lived in the same apartment building for years.

This is the story of four witnesses to history; the adventures of leaving Ireland on ships, the friendships and matches, the Irish dancehalls and Saint Patrick’s Day in the city where it probably has most resonance; New York.

Produced by Yvonne Judge.

Sound supervision by Richard McCullough and Damien Chennelles.

First broadcast Thursday 17th March 2011.