Last night I attended the Blog Awards Ireland awards at the Tivoli Theatre in Dublin. Having spent much of the week working on an archaeological excavation on Bere Island off the West Cork coast, my day started with a ferry journey back to the mainland, before covering the near 400 km to the capital. However, the long hours traveling proved well worth it, as I am delighted to say that Irish in the American Civil War was awarded best blog in the Arts & Culture Category (Personal). The event itself was a wonderful occasion– an inspired blend of awards ceremony mixed with burlesque performance, with some superb food and music thrown in. Great credit is due to the Blog Awards Ireland team for putting on such an excellent show.
I was genuinely surprised and delighted for the site to receive this honour, as it was up against some strong competition (including my good friend Louise’s Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland). The fact that a site focused on the stories of these emigrant Irish could win such an award speaks volumes to how much progress is being made on raising awareness within Ireland of these people’s lives. This increased historical visibility is the product of the efforts of a large number of dedicated scholars and enthusiasts throughout Ireland, America and beyond. It would be remiss of me not to not only thank them but also all of you, who not only read this blog but continually support it at every possible opportunity. Many of you voted to help the blog make it through to the final judging round, and I have been genuinely overwhelmed by the good wishes I have received from so many of you. Here’s hoping for many more years of the interaction on the site which has thus far provided me with not only a great deal of inspiration, but also many new friendships. It is what has made the last five years of blogging such enjoyable ones!