The Irish relied heavily on government support to pull them out of poverty. Almost every major American city had an organization like New York's Tammany Hall, which gave Irish special access to government jobs (this is why so many of them became policeman) and government contracts to Irish run construction companies etc. in exchange for delivering large blocks of Irish voters. Tammany Hall was basically running an affirmative action program for Irishmen, although they didn't call it that. They also provided welfare programs to Irish widows and orphans in Tammany run districts, and free Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners for the poor. There are many people of Irish descent supporting Trump who are saying things like "We worked our way up without Government support. Why can't "those people"? Our political discourse is often shaped by historically uninformed claims like these. This is why it is essential that history be taught in Public Schools.