New York Post - 13.03.2020

(Ben Green) #1

New York Post, Friday, March 13, 2020




You can feel as
though you’ve entered
a Celtic castle at the
downtown pub Under-
dog, courtesy of Knap-
pogue Castle Irish
whiskey. Their first sin-
gle malt, was released
in 1951, and since 1966
has been housed in the
15th-century castle in
Co. Clare. The brand
has partnered with the
pub to create a lower-
level “secret” bar, built
out to mirror the cas-
tle’s historied decor.
Complete with trap-
pings like maps of Ire-
land, faux rock and an-
cestral portraits, guests
can sip on curated
cocktails like the Emer-
ald Old Fashioned,
made with Knappogue
Castle 12-year-old malt,
green Chartreuse and
génépy. Food offerings
are a twist on the usual,
including Irish bacon
and cabbage sliders
with quail egg, vegetar-
ian Irish stew and whis-
key and stout bread
pudding. To commem-
orate the event, don
one of the castle’s
crested-velvet club
jackets and visit the
photo booth. Runs
through March 31.
Underdog, 55 Stone
Street; UnderdogBar-
— Carole Sovocool

The Knappogue Club pop-
up features whiskey in
new incarnations, like the
Emerald Old Fashioned.

The Knappogue Club



OR such a wee country, the
extended Irish diaspora is
impressively far-flung. By
1890, 40 percent of Irish-
born people had migrated
abroad, and in 1892 the
first person shuttled through
Ellis Island was 17-year-old
Annie Moore from Cobh, in
County Cork. Today more than
80 million descendants sip
their ancestrally-earned Guin-
ness, from Australia to Argentina,
and heritage tourism to the moth-
erland is booming.
The Emerald Isle heartily embra-
ces the interest. In 2016, EPIC: The
Irish Emigration Museum in Du-
blin’s Docklands opened its doors.
A visit ($19) can include delving
into emigrants’ letters and histori-
cal videos, or immersing yourself
in the narratives of offspring, like
Barack Obama, whose third great-
grandfather emigrated from
EPIC also houses the Irish Family
History Centre ($22, or $39 com-
bined with EPIC), where visitors
can access digital records and con-
sult privately with genealogists
($62 for a half hour, or $106 for an
Aer Lingus offers a “Discover
Your Roots” package beginning at
$1,441 per person for a six to eight-
night package, which includes a ge-

nealogy visit at the Irish Family
History Centre, admission to the
EPIC Emigration Museum, accom-
modation and a rental car, so after
sleuthing you can “road trip
through your roots,” perhaps even
to a specific address.
The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin,
a five-star property historically
significant as the birthplace of the
Irish constitution in 1922, takes
concierge services to the next
level. Since 2007, the hotel has
been offering the world’s only “ge-
nealogy butler,” Helen Kelly, on
A member of Accredited Geneal-
ogists Ireland, Kelly’s services in-
clude an hour-long consultation, or
“empowerment session,” for $206.
Guests wishing to participate fill
out information before their stay,
like the name and approximate

year of birth of their Irish-born an-
cestor and the date and place of
But wait, isn’t that the knowledge
you’d be coming to Kelly to get?
“That’s not the way it works,” she
says. “People... need to do their re-
search of ancestral records. The
rule of thumb is to start it with
themselves, and work back
through records online, like the US
Kelly then goes into “detective
mode” as she builds her clients’
family tree, utilizing the National
Library of Ireland, National Ar-
chives of Ireland, Valuation Office
and the Registry of Deeds.
Even if she finds no current rela-
tions, Kelly encourages a visit to
the ancestral land to perhaps have
a chance encounter that would
lead them to a living relative.

“Walk gently,” she advises. And be
patient. “One needs to spend a lit-
tle bit of time. You just never know.
We have long memories in Ire-
Long memories were extremely
advantageous for Jim Regan. When
the 72-year-old retired banker
started his research in 2002, online
records were scarce, but knew a
little about his heritage: his great-
grandmother and great-grandfa-
ther both emigrated to New York
from Kilfinane, County Limerick.
“I read someplace that you
should just address [a letter] to the
editor of the local newspaper with
the names and the time you’re in-
terested in,” he said.
Astonishingly, the local Kilfinane
paper published it, and Regan be-
gan receiving correspondence
from sources acquainted with his
family. When he and his wife later
made a trip to Kilfinane, the re-
sponse was overwhelming.
The priest at the local parish in-
vited them to dig through the
records and another gentleman
took them to the area where his
great-grandparents would have
had their business, a barrel cooper-
age. “It was just unbelievable,” says
For those who want to get started
on tracing their genealogy, Regan
and Kelly say the most important
thing is talking to your relatives to
find out what you can. Then work
your way through the records.
In addition to the US census
(, free resources in-
clude the National Archives of Ire-
land census (Census.NationalAr-; FamilySearch (Family-, run by the Church of
Latter-Day Saints, and Irish Gene-
ology ( run by
the Minister for Culture, Heritage
and the Gaeltacht.
Then there’s commercial indexes
like, the UK-based, and RootsIre- You can also search the Fa-
cebook pages of Ireland’s county
genealogy groups.

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

Dublin’s EPIC Museum explores
the Irish emigrant experience
and features resources for
researching your family tree.

Branching out

Trace your heritage

and find your

family tree on a

visit to Ireland

Sherbourne hotel

A stay at historic Sherbourne Hotel in Dublin can include a
consultation with their “genealogy butler” Helen Kelly (inset).
Free download pdf