What Pope Francis visit meant to this Irish immigrant
Irish Central | Oct 2, 2015
As an immigrant who became an American citizen last year and who has advocated for my undocumented brothers and sisters of all ethnic backgrounds over the past decade, I was honored to be invited with my wife Anne to the White House for the arrival ceremony of Pope Francis.
In 1998, Anne and I left our native Galway in Ireland and came to the United States with our four children to begin a new adventure starting a restaurant business as we pursued the American dream. Later that year, we opened ‘The Irish Oak,’ our first Irish-themed Bar/Restaurant in Wrigleyville, Chicago, and hired ten employees. Four years later we opened another – ‘The Grafton’ in Lincoln Square. Today, we own three successful restaurants in downtown Chicago – The Gage and Acanto on Michigan Avenue and The Dawson in West Town – and we employ 260 people. Next year we plan to open three more establishments, which will also be family-run.