Sean came to the U.S. with his wife Catherine to escape the “Troubles” in 1990. He saw too much blood being shed, his father was killed in a bomb blast in 84.
The Troubles was a period of conflict in Northern Ireland involving Republican and Loyalist paramilitaries, the British security forces, and civil rights groups.
He wanted peace and the opportunity to make a good living as an ironworker. He had new troubles trying to get into the union to get a card and begin working. He was told you are an immigrant. He told them that in the United States we are all an immigrant or a refugee, we all came from somewhere in our history.
He found work on a construction crew, made a decent living and he and Catherine had two children Regis and a daughter Coleen. They lived in Manhattan where Catherine supplemented income by taking in sewing.
Sean fought hard to help newcomers to the U.S. get situated and find jobs. He fought businesses and the union for equity for all.
Three days after his 10 year anniversary in the U.S. he was walking to the subway from a job site that had its share of safety labor issues of which he was involved and a car drove close to the cub, his name was called he turned to look only to feel a bullet pass through his chest. He fell to the ground and lived only a few seconds.
Catherine is back in Ireland with the children living with her parents and working in their Pub… She remembers looking at a picture of Sean and telling him they should stay in Ireland with their own as a tear drops to her cheek.
She tells her mother that it seems there are “troubles” no matter where you are.