Jeremiah R. Sullivan
Jeremiah R. Sullivan has worked in banking for the past 50 years after a career which also seen him join the US Navy, serving in Southeast Asia and South America. After finishing his tour of duty, he returned to work in the mines in Butte, where he also graduated from college and went on to teach school in Canada before becoming a bank examiner.
A from Butte Central High School, which was run by the Christian Brothers of Ireland, Jeremiah’s parents immigrated from Co. Cork to Butte, MT – his mother with her family and his father alone to work in the mines in Butte with his three uncles. Following High School, I joined the US Navy and served in Southeast Asia and South America.
Now semi-retired, he is married to Kay. Together they have three children, Devin, Tara and Keely and six grandchildren, Redmond, Frances, Finnegan, Peter, Ruth and Bernadette.
What, for you, is the importance of our global diaspora and how do you contribute to its success?
Everywhere the Irish have travelled they have made their influence felt in the arts, music, literature, education, and politics. Though they weren’t always initially welcome, the Irish have earned the admiration and respect of people worldwide through their hard work and example.
The Irish language embodies the culture of Ireland. Studying and learning the Irish language gives me great personal satisfaction. Through being a director and supporter of the Friends of Irish Studies in the West at the University of Montana and a member of the Montana GaeIic Cultural Society in Butte, I have helped to promote the use and expansion of Irish language and culture. I am also a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Butte, MT, a longstanding organization that has helped to instil cultural and ethnic pride in early Irish immigrants to the United States and their progeny.
Tell us how you connect to Belfast:
My connection to Belfast began when my wife Kay and I joined in the effort to bring Protestant and Catholic children to America, and Montana in particular, through a program called Project Children. That program, led by Denis Mulcahy of New York, brought thousands of children out of the north of Ireland to the US during the Troubles. We also brought cross-community young adults to Montana for work experience in banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and law firms. Over the years, we have maintained contact with friends in Belfast as well as other communities in the north of Ireland arising out of these programs.