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PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Attention

Further Info, Contact Bilal Tajildean, 203-757-2279


On Saturday, November 14, 2015 John Bale Book Company will host author, Janet Maher, and the director of Prospect Library, John Wiehn, for a discussion about her recent History Press publication, Waterbury Irish: From the Emerald Isle to the Brass City from 2:00 to 3:30 pm. This is part of the Bale Lyceum Series, designed to provide interesting conversation after a High Tea lunch. The Lyceum and the lunch both take place in Bale’s second floor rare book room at 158 Grand Street, Waterbury, CT. It is a cozy and comfortable atmosphere, great for enjoying a lunch with a friend or for bringing several friends. There is a $10 charge for the High Tea Lunch (noon to 1:30), and a $10 charge for the book discussion.

Waterbury Irish is the second scholarly book that Waterbury native, Janet Maher, has obsessively researched and written about the history of the Irish immigrations into New Haven County, Connecticut. Exhaustive reading about Ireland and Irish-Americans and two research trips to Ireland have also informed her work, as has friendships she developed with others interested in exchanging information about Irish genealogy since 2006. She has produced and/or restored massive numbers of her own original photographs and historic photographs from her and others’ collections, and completely transcribed and re-mapped a Naugatuck cemetery. Throughout her long project her quest has been to find bridges between the early New Haven county Irish settlers and their specific origins in the “Old Sod,” then following their progress through generations. She has attempted to recreate a sense of the former communities on both sides of “the pond” such that all who share common ancestral origins may glean a beginning point for their own further research forwards, backwards and sideways.

Primarily an artist, Maher directs the Studio Arts program at Loyola University Maryland, where she is an associate professor. For Waterbury Irish she enlisted the help of John Wiehn to work with her in expanding her research with stories about local Waterbury residents into the modern era. Past state president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Wiehn has served in all elected offices and been involved with the AOH for more than 20 years. He reached out to his AOH friends to share some living knowledge of Waterbury Irish individuals and shared some information gleaned from newspaper clippings he saved through the years. He also created the index for the book.

As the two Irish-interested friends grew up in different eras and different parts of Waterbury–one having remained all his life there, the other having left Connecticut at 25 years old–each had a different base of contacts and family to bring into this part of the project. Maher also “cold called” the current mayor and city clerk for their stories and continued to research the included families and their times, weaving all into her text that came to include politics, sports, the famous (and infamous), enlivened with myriad family memories.

Come to John Bale Book Company with your own stories and photographs to share with all in attendance. Waterbury Irish may be purchased at this event. Start your Christmas shopping for ancestral Irish friends and family here!

Waterbury Irish, and Maher’s first book, From the Old Sod to the Naugatuck Valley, may also be purchased from her shop on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ConnecticutIrish/