In the 18th and early 19th centuries, thousands of Irish men and women arrived in Mexico and South America lured by the promise of adventure, fame and fortune. They were soldiers, spies, sailors, merchants and diplomats, and they and their children fought for independence and helped shape modern Latin America. Today, the names of streets, towns, schools, and football teams on the continent bear witness to their influence.
In Paisanos, Tim Fanning, an exciting new voice in Irish historiography, uncovers their extraordinary tales of romance, adventure, war and rebellion. Among the Mayo natives who fought in the South American wars of independence was the Foxford-born admiral William Brown who founded the Argentinian navy and, in so doing, played a key role in defeating the Spanish colonial forces. Another Irishman who helped the cause of South American independence was the spy James Florence Bourke, whose father came from Lackan. Employing his considerable powers of seduction, elaborate disguises, invisible writing and blackmail, Bourke seduced queens and threatened prime ministers and viceroys to further his aims.
Paisanos tells the stories of these Mayomen and many other Irish men and women who helped fashion the New World and sowed the seeds of Ireland’s revolutions to follow.
Tim Fanning is an author and researcher based in Dublin. In addition to working for a number of Irish and Spanish publications, he is the author of The Fethard-On-Sea Boycott (2010 ).
Paisanos is published by Gill Books priced at €24.99.