Ray Cavanaugh is a freelance scribe from Massachusetts. His mother is from Kerry and his father is a few generations removed from Wexford. He’s a regular “Window on the Past” contributor to Irish America.
Ray is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA). He has written for such publications as The Guardian, USA Today, and the Washington Post.
Kit DeFever is a California-born, Midwest-raised New York photographer. For 30 years he has had a major NYC studio. His client list includes Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Belks, Famous-Barr, LS Ayres, Madamoiselle, Marie Claire, Stern, JWT, Campbell Ewald, and others.
When not photographing for his fashion accounts Kit is usually found in Ireland or Alaska.
Tom Deignan is a teacher, author, and columnist for the Irish Voice and Irish America. He is currently working on a book about America during the Ellis Island years.
His writing has appeared in newspapers such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Star-Ledger, and National Catholic Reporter, as well as magazines such as America, Commonweal, Brooklyn Rail, and Irish America.
He is the author of Coming to America: Irish Americans and contributed to books such as Nine Irish Lives: The Fighters, Thinkers, and Artists Who Helped Build America, and The Irish American Chronicle.
Mary Gallagher is a former intern for Irish America, and currently functions as the deputy editor and advertising and events coordinator for the magazine. She lives on Long Island in New York and graduated from Molloy College in 2018 with a B.A. in literature and a minor in history. She continues to nurture a fervent interest in Ireland’s storied history and literary tradition.
Mary Pat Kelly
As an author and filmmaker, Mary Pat Kelly has told various stories connected to Ireland. Her award-winning PBS documentaries and accompanying books include To Live for Ireland, a portrait of Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume and the political party he led; Home Away from Home: The Yanks in Ireland, a history of U.S. forces in Northern Ireland during World War II; and Proudly We Served: The Men of the USS Mason, a portrayal of the only African-American sailors to take a World War II warship into combat, whose first foreign port was Belfast. She wrote and directed the dramatic feature film Proud, starring Ossie Davis and Stephen Rea, based on the USS Mason story.
She’s written Martin Scorsese: The First Decade and Martin Scorsese: A Journey; Good to Go: The Rescue of Scott O’Grady from Bosnia; and a novel, Special Intentions. She is a frequent contributor to Irish America Magazine.
Mary Pat Kelly worked in Hollywood as a screenwriter for Paramount and Columbia Pictures and in New York City as an associate producer with Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live, and wrote the book and lyrics for the musical Abby’s Song. She received her PhD from the City University of New York.
Born and raised in Chicago, she lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side with her husband, Web designer Martin Sheerin from County Tyrone.
Christine Kinealy is the world-renowned historian, professor of history, and Founding Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut. Beginning with her Ph.D. dissertation at Trinity College on the Irish workhouse system and continuing, in 1997, with her breakthrough book This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine 1845-52, Kinealy has become an influential authority on Ireland.
Christine’s most recent book, Black Abolitionists in Ireland published in 2020 by Routledge. It examines ten abolitionists – nine men and one woman –who visited Ireland between 1791 and 1860.
Edythe Preet served as the culinary historian for Irish America since 1994. Sadly, Edythe passed away in 2020 but her feature series “Sláinte!” which traces the histories of traditional Irish food, drink and celebration, liberally laced with a wealth of folklore, mythology and popular customs continues to appear on Irish America’s website. Edythe also owned The Heritage Kitchen, a specialty food business producing sweets and savories based on historical recipes.
Michael Quinlin is author of Irish Boston (Globe Pequot Press) and editor of Classic Irish Stories (Lyons Press). He founded the Boston Irish Tourism Association, created Boston’s Irish Heritage Trail, and formed MassJazz to promote the vibrant jazz scene in Massachusetts. Mike lives in Milton, Massachusetts with his wife, Colette, and son, Devin.
Turlough McConnell is a producer and writer with over two decades experience as a creative program executive in the Irish-American market. For Irish America magazine, Turlough produces special feature supplements, overseeing content, design and all aspects of production. Recent subjects include a major feature on Boston College and the John J. Burns Library; a development profile Titanic Belfast, and the book, Celebrating 250 Years of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
As President & CEO of Turlough McConnell Communications, (TMCC), Turlough produces live events, multi-media products and documentary films of interest to Irish America, including exhibitions such as the international tour of Fighting Irish: Celebrating Irish Prizefighters (on tour from 2006), now on view at London’s City Hall as part of the 2012 Olympics. For TMCC, he curated the Ireland’s Great Hunger art exhibition in New York (2011), and serves as advisor to the emerging Irish Mission at Watson House Museum in New York City and Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University Connecticut.
Megan Smolenyak is a real-life history detective who loves to solve mysteries. You might have spotted Megan or her handiwork on Top Chef, Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots, Faces of America, Good Morning America, the Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, PBS and NPR.
Her news-making discoveries include uncovering Michelle Obama’s family tree, revealing the true story of Annie Moore, the first immigrant through Ellis Island, and tracing former President Barack Obama’s roots to Moneygall, Ireland and President Joe Biden’s roots to Mayo, Louth, and Galway, Ireland. Formerly Chief Family Historian for Ancestry.com, she also founded Unclaimed Persons.
Megan is the author of 6 books, including Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing and Who Do You Think You Are? (companion to the TV series), and conducts forensic research for the Army, BIA, coroners, NCIS and the FBI.