El Batallón de San Patricio: Irish Soldiers Fighting for Mexico
Some clips below from One Man’s Hero, which tells the story of the St. Patrick’s Batallion — Irish troops who defected from the US Army to the Mexican side in the Mexican-American War. Irish Catholic immigrants suffered horrible discimination in the very Protestant, nativist climate of 19th century America, and the prospect of a fellow-Catholic nation (Mexico) loosing territory to Protestant Anglo-Saxon expansionism aroused considerable sympathy among many Irish troops, who viewed it in terms of the Irish situation. There is an excellent essay here on the Batallion at the Catholic Culture site by Michael Hogan.
The San Patricios are still revered as hereos in Mexico today, though tragically forgotten in their native homeland. (It is testimony to the poverty of modern Irish foreign policy, insomuch as such a thing exists these days, that we aren’t developing our once very strong links with Latin America.)