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Ich am of Irlaunde, Ant of the holy londe of Irlaunde

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I'm dedicating this post to my mom.


ICH am of Irlaunde,
Ant of the holy londe
    Of Irlande.
Gode sire, pray ich the,
For of saynte charité,
Come ant daunce wyth me
    In Irlaunde. (source: Wikisource)


I didn't grow up in a particularly Irish part of America.  I hail from south of Seattle, in Washington State, where most of my friends growing up were of German and/or Scandinavian extraction and I was the only Catholic amongst my friends in primary school.  My surname is O'Meara and this, apparently, is a hard surname to both spell and pronounce in the Pacific Northwest.  My mom's been asked if her husband is Japanese (Omara) and my dad was once sent a letter to join the Hispanic American society (I have no idea).  While my family were aware of and acknowledged our family's past, it wasn't a very big part of our lives.  The majority of my Irish ancestors immigrated to America during and shortly after the Famine and therefore we didn't have any living relat…