The Fighting Irish

The Fighting Irish - The Show

The Fighting Irish is a show of songs and stories, a musical history of the many thousands of Irishmen who've fought in American armies. It stars Celtic Tenor Matthew Gilsenan, who provides the music, and RTE broadcaster Myles Dungan, who narrates the story. 


The show begins with the Mexican-American war and the story of the famous San Patricio battalion, US Army deserters fighting for Mexico. 

It then moves on to the American Civil War, examining the service of Colonel Michael Corcoran and the ‘Fighting 69th', and looking in on Thomas Francis Meagher and the Irish Brigade. 

The Confederate Irish, meanwhile, are celebrated in the shape of Dick Dowling, the Jefferson Davis Guard and the distinguished Cork-born General Patrick Cleburne. 

Also included are the Fenian invasions of Canada and the Frontier Wars - where we see how Irish immigrants interacted with the Lakota, the Cheyenne and how they fought and died with General Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

The show concludes with a look at the Irish who fought in the Great War.

Contemporary airs appropriate to the stories told (‘Was My Brother in the Battle’, ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home) are augmented by famous Irish traditional airs, (‘The Rising of the Moon’, ‘The  Minstrel Boy’) many with newly penned lyrics. The show is a mixture of  the poignant, the dramatic and the humorous.


Myles Dungan – writer and narrator is a leading Irish radio and TV personality and the author of a number of books including Distant Drums: Irish Soldiers in Foreign Armies (1993)

Matthew Gilsenan, composer, arranger and tenor is a founder member of the Celtic Tenors who have toured extensively in the USA, UK and throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Jpg Fighting Irish