Loss of Queen Elizabeth felt among Syracuse's Irish community
As the historic funeral of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II captivated the world on Monday, Syracuse’s large Irish community gave the event its attention.
Ireland has a complicated history with the United Kingdom. Past violent disputes between the two powers helped feed the diaspora that initially brought Irish immigrants to our region.
But Shelly Mahoney, the owner of the Irish antique shop Cashel House, said the loss of the queen is felt among Syracuse residents with Irish roots.
“I was very sad to hear the news," Mahoney said. "I think we honor her over here, nearly as much as they do over there."
Syracuse University professor and British historian Alan Allport said some Irish-Americans resent the crown because of its turbulent history with Ireland. But he said their anger is not personal to the queen.
"I think it’s been more about what the monarchy and the crown has represented," Allport said. "It clearly represents the British authority and the British state. For lots of Irish people, of course, there are some tragic memories of that, going back to, perhaps, the time of their great-grandparents.”
Allport said Queen Elizabeth helped heal some British-Irish relations. She was the first British monarch to visit the Republic of Ireland.
Census data shows Syracuse’s Irish community is at least 20,000 strong.