At first blush, you might not think there are many ties between the Irish and the Mexican cultures. But there are actually quite a few! In honor of O’ Drinko de Mayo (more popularly known as Cinco de Mayo), we’re revealing some fun facts about how the bonds between Ireland and Mexico.

1) Zorro is actually argued to be Irish. According to at least one historian, a man named William Lamport from Wexford Ireland is believed to be the inspiration for Johnston McCulley‘s fictional hero “Zorro.”  Learn more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Lamport

2) A group of Irish Men started the San Patricios (or the St. Patrick’s) Battalion in the Mexican-American War? This brigade of primarily Irish men was lead by John O’Riley and became known as one of the toughest battalions in that war. They are still honored today in Mexico for their bravery. Many actually stayed behind after the war and settled in parts of Mexico. Learn more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Patrick%27s_Battalion

 

3) Today, there are roughly between 300,000 and 600,000 Irish-descendants living in Mexico City, and the Northern region of the country, where Irish last names such as Bay, Lamport, Byrne, Walsh, Foley, Hayes, and O’Leary are very common.

 

4) Álvaro Obregón (O’Brien) was president of Mexico during 1920-24 and Ciudad Obregón and its airport are named in his honor. Actor Anthony Quinn is another famous Mexican of Irish descent. There are also monuments in Mexico City paying tribute to those Irish who fought for Mexico in the 1800s.