A forgotten Irish Freedom Fighter comes to light through a Rochester man’s ancestral research.
Join us at The H.A.R.P. Museum at the Irish Cultural Center of the Mohawk Valley on Thursday May 25 7:00 PM, where Michael McBride will present the story of his great-uncle Exile McBride, a late 19th century Irish Freedom Fighter who resided in Brockport, NY.
In 1864, 17- year-old John Joseph “Exile” McBride fled Ireland to avoid imprisonment after a failed rebellion against a tyrannical British government. He ended up in Brockport, NY where he became involved in the new field of photography. In 1866, Exile went to Buffalo to join the Fenians, a secret society of Irish patriots who had emigrated from Ireland to the United States. He was captured in the Battle of Ridgeway, when the Irish declared war on Canada. Bishop John Timon, the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Buffalo, and Congressman Bass helped secure his release.
Exile traveled extensively throughout America and Europe promoting Irish independence and universal human rights. He had the support of several US Presidents including McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft. Exile had a considerable presence in Utica, NY where he attended political conventions and was honored by the Wexford ‘98 Club and the Utica Branch of the United Irish League.
Presenter Michael McBride discovered his relationship to his great uncle while doing research on his own ancestry. He continues to do extensive research having collected numerous documents on Exile’s life and locating his, Exile’s, final resting place that had long been unknown and forgotten.
The presentation will be held at the H.A.R.P. Museum located on the second floor of the Irish Cultural Center of the Mohawk Valley, 623 Columbia St, Utica, NY. A small donation to offset the presenter’s travel expenses will be collected at the door. This program is free, although people interested in attending are asked to register at EventBrite, at https://bit.ly/41WkJZf.