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College News

Local Author Deirdre McKiernan Hetzler to Hold Book Launch at St. John Fisher College Sunday, March 24

03/19/2013


On Sunday, March 24, the St. John Fisher College Irish Studies Program and the local chapter of the Irish American Cultural Institute (IACI) will host the book launch for Irish America Reawakening: The Eoin McKiernan Story, written by McKiernan’s daughter, Deirdre McKiernan Hetzler. The launch will be held in the St. John Fisher College Wilson Formal Lounge from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and will include a live performance by The Dady Brothers.

Irish America Reawakening: The Eoin McKiernan Story, which was just released by Borealis Press (Ottowa), is a biography of one the greatest Irish-Americans of the 20th century. Niall O'Dowd, editor of Irish America and The Irish Voice, called McKiernan “one of the most powerful voices in the history of the Irish in America, a man who, perhaps more than any other, created the concept of Irish America as we know it today.”

McKiernan, who once chaired the English Department at SUNY Geneseo and was guest lecturer at Nazareth College, was a champion of the Irish language, a brilliant scholar, and a personal friend of Eamon DeValera, one of the important political figures in the history of Ireland.

He hosted two popular TV series on Ireland in the 1960s, which aired on PBS all over the United States. The response was so overwhelming that he was inspired to found the IACI along with his wife, Jeannette, and St. Paul philanthropist, Patrick Butler. The purpose of the IACI is to promote an intelligent appreciation of Ireland and Irish and Irish-American Culture. Among its many achievements, the Institute made literary awards in Ireland, established a research grant for American scholars to study in Ireland, brought Irish speakers and thespians on tour to the U.S., created a summer program for teenagers, and published a scholarly journal. The IACI has an active Rochester chapter.

McKiernan Hetzler is the eldest of McKiernan’s nine children. She holds a B.A. from Nazareth College and an M.A. from St. Bernard´s School of Theology and Ministry in Rochester. In 1995, she took over the McKiernan Tours to Ireland from her father. She has served as the chair of the Rochester Chapter of the IACI, and currently sits on the national board. McKiernan Hetzler is a former Campus Minister at St. John Fisher College, and lives in the Fairport area.

For more information about the Irish Studies Program at St. John Fisher College, visit www.sjfc.edu.


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