Corned Beef & Cabbage on Thursday Is It?

Holliston is very Irish when it comes to ethnicity. While Boston is considered an Irish enclave, it is really the communities along the South Shore that are highly Irish populated. Places like Scituate come in at 42%. Holliston is one quarter Irish at 25.8% followed by the English 15.5% and the Italians at 15.1%. While the town’s Mudville neighborhood can claim early Irish history, that is not the case anymore. Many of the town’s population with Irish roots are scattered around town.

My own descendants were late comers to town. Great great grandfather Cornelius Driscoll arriving in 1847 from Kilmichael Co. Cork to 61 School Street, followed by great great grandfather William Fair from Dunmanway Co. Cork to 143 Union Street in 1853. Another set of great grandparents, Louis Moore was fashionably late and arrived around 1900. Many of my early relatives are buried in Milford the local church St. Mary’s not being formed until 1870.

Corned beef and cabbage was always a mainstay at our house growing up on St. Patrick’s Day. Corned beef and cabbage is virtually unknown in Ireland. When I owned a house in Ireland, my neighbor Padraig Kilkelly invited me over for the Irish version called bacon & cabbage.

It is said that corned beef was a cheaper cut of meat back when and the Irish would brine their own portions. Those too poor to purchase the meat would be given the broth the concoction was boiled in by their neighbors so they could flavor whatever vegetables they had handy.

With Irish bread already delivered to my house by Donna Muzzy (it was hot out of the oven) and neighbor Nancy Hurley Karis, I’m all set for corned beef sandwiches.

La Fheile Padraig sona doit! – everyone!

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Bobby Blair


  1. Chris (Brady) Caswell on March 15, 2022 at 8:35 am

    I enjoyed this article!

  2. Patricia Neary Boyd on March 15, 2022 at 10:03 pm

    I have Driscoll roots, probably from Cork, as well!