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On Saturday, July 29, several dozen Irish currach rowers, turned the clock back to the 6th century on the waterfront at New London, a major New England seaport since the 17th century --The first Irishman fascinated by the Connecticut shoreline seems to have been Sir William Johnson, one of colonial America’s most influential, productive and flamboyant characters, who came to New London 250 years ago to recuperate --In August 1892, New London was chosen to host a three-week summer educational program that drew an estimated 600 Catholics, most of them Irish --Billiards skills brought fame and fortune to Long Neck Point Irishman Hugh W. Collender --Diocese built Niantic chapel for Irish servants of well-to-do vacationers --A summer resident & home-run king sparked Clinton’s baseball team --John Mitchel, an Irish rebel and eventually an American Confederate, wrote a letter to a Miss Thompson in Ireland in 1845 offering his views on Stonington --For the many Irishmen who served in the Connecticut National Guard, a week at the shore always meant marching, drilling, tenting and passing inspection. Beginning in 1881, the state’s National Guard regiments spent a week in August on an 80-acre training camp in Niantic.



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