Massachusetts is second only to New Hampshire in the percentage of residents of Irish ancestry. But Massachusetts Irish try harder.

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, 20.2 percent (272,613) of New Hampshire's 1.3 million residents are of Irish ancestry. In Massachusetts, 19.8 percent (1,354,1776) of the roughly seven million residents are of Irish ancestry.

The Irish flooded New England to escape the Great Famine from about 1845 to 1852. There were laborers, musicians, poets, tailors, farmers, scholars and more. They brought their religion, skills, culture and work ethic to our shores. They changed the face of New England.

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The Boston Irish Tourism Association (BITA) was established in 2000 "to market the state's vibrant Irish-American community, especially its culture, heritage, and businesses."

The BITA aimed to "connect the Irish-American grassroots community with the state's tourism and hospitality industries so that year-round cultural events could be enjoyed by visitors, conventioneers, business travelers, and tour groups coming to Massachusetts."

Group Markets Massachusetts's 'Vibrant' Irish-American Community
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The Association says, "The result has been to make it easy for visitors – and local residents – to get immersed in the state's wonderful range of cultural activities and to take advantage of the hospitality amenities available to travelers."

The BITA has several websites highlighting the contributions of the Irish in Massachusetts, including the Irish Heritage Trail, Irish Massachusetts and Irish Boston. The Association distributes a no-cost Travel & Culture Guide several times each year.

READ MORE: New Bedford's Irish Pub Craze of the 1980s

The BITA provides information about shopping, cultural groups, cultural venues, and pubs and restaurants, among other things.

The Boston Irish Tourism Association is a way for local folks of Irish ancestry to stay in touch with their roots while informing visitors to Massachusetts about our deep Irish connections.

READ MORE: Massachusetts Is the Second-Most Irish State in the Nation

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