Irish Welcome Sign


Every day walking in and out of my house, I pass the rustic, gray plaque that sits by the door. While I understand it means welcome in Irish, I never truly appreciated the history behind it. My great grandparents left their friends, family and belongings in Ireland so they could come to America, the land of opportunity. A family friend named John Murphy, who had immigrated to the United States years earlier sponsored them. My great grandparents traveled by boat, and upon landing in New York they met John who brought them to an apartment in the Bronx. It was their first home in America and was furnished with donations from other Irish families who had also settled in the area. John had placed a stone sign next to the front door of their apartment with the word “Fáilte” or welcome. The stone sign was passed on to the oldest child, my grandfather, Michael Rooney, when he purchased his first home in Hicksville, NY.  It sat at the front of my father’s childhood home for almost 30 years, and it became a part of his history. When my father bought his first home in Dix Hills, the sign was given to him. It now sits next to my front door. When I buy my first home, the sign will be passed down to me, and eventually my oldest child. The sign is a constant reminder of the kindness shown to them by John as he welcomed into their new lives. Today, it welcomes friends and family into my home. 

Place(s): Ireland

– Katie Rooney

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more