Failte Irish American Hall of Fame

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Who Discovered America?

St. Brendan & Company set sailModern researchers, historians, and anthropologists will no doubt continue to debate the question of who discovered America well into the 21st century.  The Irish will participate in that debate with the legend of St. Brendan.  Brendan of Arnfort and Clonfort (also known as Brendan the Voyager) was born in 484 A.D.  near Tralee in County Kerry.  St. Brendan was among the first Christian missionaries of the newly converted Ireland.  Although no historical proof exists, the legends of St. Brendan describe his voyage in search of “paradise” westward from Ireland.   In 530 A.D., Brendan arrived on an island of lush vegetation believed by some to be North America.

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