Tá áit cháiliúil i mBrooklyn ar a dtugtar Clós Cabhlaigh Brooklyn. There’s a famous place in Brooklyn called the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Ceannaíodh an talamh (dugaí a bhí ann cheana féin) in 1801, faoin uachtarán John Adams, agus bunaíodh mar chlós cabhlaigh gníomhach é in 1806. The land was purchased in 1801 (there were already docks there), under President JA, and it was founded as an active navy yard in 1806. Ceann de chúig chlós a bunaíodh faoi rialtas na Stát Aontaithe ag an am ab ea é. It was one of 5 yards founded by the US government at the time. Tá sé suite ar Imchuach Wallabout, áit a mbíodh na príosún-longa Sasanacha i rith an chogaidh réabhlóidigh (tá dán agam ar an ábhar seo, an Príosún-long Jersey, i mo leabhar An File ar Buile). It is located on Wallabout Basin, where the British prison ships were during the revolutionary war (Ihave a poem on this subject, the Prison-ship Jersey, in my book…).
In aice leis an gclós seo tá páirc, agus an pháirc is sine i mBrooklyn is ea é. In 1951, ath-bhaisteadh é mar Commodore Barry Park, mar gheall ar an nasc idir Barry agus an clós cabhlaigh. Near the yard is a park, which is the oldest park in Brooklyn. In 1951 it was renamed… because of the connection Barry had to the navy yard. Bhí baint éigin ag Ceannasóir John Barry lena bhunú – sin a deir beagnach gach suíomh idirlín a luann é. Barry had something to do with its founding – that’s what almost every website says that mentions him. Ach fuair mé (faoi dheireadh) i ndoiciméad atá ag Coláiste Pobail Laguardia faoi ainmniú na páirce ina onóir (bhíodh Páirc na Cathrach air roimhe sin), gur mhol seisean don Chomhdháil in 1798 roinn cabhlaigh agus clós cabhlaigh a bhunú. But I found (finally) in a document that Laguardia Community College has about the naming of the park in his honor (it used to be called City Park), that it was he who recommended to Congress in 1798 that a navy department and navy yard be established.
Tá linn snámha poiblí sa pháirc, agus ar bhallaí an fhoirgnimh seo, tá comharthaí péinteáilte faoi Barry agus an fáth go raibh sé tábhachtach. There is a public pool in the park, and on the walls of this building there are painted signs about Barry and why he was important. Ach níl aon dealbh de sa pháirc. But there is no statue of him in the park. Nuair a bhí mé ag déanamh taighde air, fuair mé go bhfuil dealbha de in Washington D.C., in Philadelphia, agus fiú i Loch Garman! While I was researching this, I found that there is a statue of him in DC, Philly and even in Wexford! Ba as Teach Coimseáin i gContae Loch Garman é. He was from Tacumshane in County Wexford.
Fuair mé rud eile suimiúil, a bhaineann leis an dealbh i Washington. I found something else interesting relating to the statue in Washington. Nuair a nochtadh é ar an 16ú Bealtaine 1914, thug Uachtarán Wilson óráid, agus fuair mé an óráid sin ar an idirlíon. When it was unvailed on May 16th 1914, President Wilson gave a speech, and I found that speech on the internet. Meon na haoise sin atá le brath ann, dar ndóigh, ach níl sé gan baint lenár linn féin. The attitude of the age is to be sensed in it, of course, but it isn’t without relevence to our own times. Dúirt Wilson (aistrithe go Gaeilge): Wilson said (translated to Irish): “…Ba Éireannach é John Barry, ach thrasnaigh a chroí an tAtlantach leis. …John Barry was an Irishman, but his heart crossed the Atlantic with him. Níor fhág sé in Éirinn é. He did not leave it in Ireland. Agus is é an promhadh a chuirtear ar gach duine dínn – mar tá fréamhacha againn go léir thar sáile – sin é, an mbímid sásta chun cabhrú Meiriceá lena saol saor agus neamhspleách, ag caomhnú ár gcion ársa, cinnte, ach ag socrú ar gach a ndéanaimid mar gheall ar na leasanna ar an taobh seo den aigéan. And the test of all of us—for all of us had our origins on the other side of the sea—is whether we will assist in enabling America to live her separate and independent life, retaining our ancient affections, indeed, but determining everything that we do by the interests that exist on this side of the sea. Tá gá ag Meiriceánaigh áirithe le fleiscíní ina n-ainmneacha, as siocar nár tháinig ach cuid den duine trasna na dtonnta. Some Americans need hyphens in their names, because only part of them has come over. Ach nuair a thagann an duine ina iomlán chugainn, titeann an fleiscín dá ainm as a mheáchan féin. But when the whole man has come over, heart and thought and all, the hyphen drops of its own weight out of his name. Ní raibh sé ina Ghael-Mheiriceánach, ach ba Ghael é a d’iompaigh go Meiriceánach… This man was not an Irish-American; he was an Irishman who became an American…”
Tá iarsmalann saor in aisce, BDLG 92, ag an gclós. There is a free museum…at the yard. Fuair mé cúpla fíric suimiúil eile ansin. I found a few other interesting facts there. Thugtaí Baile Éireannach ar an gcomharsanacht ina thimpeall. The surrounding neighborhood used to be called Irish Town. Bhíodh sliocht na hÉireann ag obair ag an gclós riamh. People of Irish descent used to always work in the yard. Bhí duine darb ainm “Boss” Hugh McLaughlin i mbun na n-oibrithe ag deireadh an naoiú haoise déag, agus bhí sé agus Halla Tamanny in adharca a chéile nuair a slógadh Brooklyn isteach Cathair Nua-Eabhraic. There was a person named…in charge of the workers at the end of the 19th century, and he was at oddsy with TH when Brooklyn was swollowed up into NYC.
Bhí muintir Éireannach ag obair i ngach saghas poist timpeall na háite, agus is iomaí scéal eile a bheadh le hinsint fúthu, cinnte. Irish people worked in every sort of job around the place, and there are many other stories that could be told about them, for sure.