“San Patricios” are the fighting Irish in Mexico!

Did you cozy up to the bar at Carlos O’Brien’s for Saint Patrick’s Day? If so, share a great tale of the fighting Irish in Mexico.

The “San Patricios” battalion was a group of mostly Catholic Irish men led by Captain John Riley of County Galway that deserted their U.S. troops to fight along side the Mexican Army during the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848.

When the U.S. Soldiers looted and burned Catholic churches, many Irish-American soldiers fed up with mistreatment from their Anglo-Protestant officers, couldn’t resolve themselves to the fact they were fighting against another Catholic country and jumped to the other side.

While held prisoner in Mexico City, Riley wrote to a friend: “Be not deceived by a nation that is at war with Mexico, for a friendlier and more hospitable people than the Mexicans there exists not on the face of the earth.”




Learn more about Los San Patricios!