Notre Dame Magazine
Autumn 2012 : The Land Left Behind
It’s hard to imagine a university in America that has aligned itself with a foreign country as closely as Notre Dame has identified with Ireland. Despite being started by a French priest of a French religious order, L’Université de Notre Dame du Lac has been the home of the Fighting Irish for decades.
Its athletic teams have embodied that fighting spirit — scrappy, defiant, belligerent underdogs with gritty flair for valiant efforts and dramatic victories. The shamrocks and the wearing of the green may suggest the playful ornamentations of things Irish, but turning the demeaning image of the leprechaun inside out as a symbol of Irish pride, liberation and triumph stands as a fist against the prejudice and power of age-old oppressors.