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Dublin: 5°C Monday 19 April 2021

8 things Chicago has given to Ireland

They’re a talented bunch, those Chicagoans.

CHICAGO IS IN people’s minds more than ever now with the recent Chicago Cubs win in the World Series, not to mention Ireland’s historic victory over the All Blacks last week.

Ireland and Chicago have long been linked, with many Irish emigrants setting up home in the Windy City and helping to shape it physically and culturally. But those Chicagoans haven’t been shy about returning the favour – from music, to art, film and food, they’ve been putting their stamp on the world and Ireland particularly. Here are eight of the most influential Chicagoans and Chicago inventions around.

1. Deep-dish pizza

Chicago deep dish Source: musicisentropy via Flickr/CC

If you’re a fan of a deep-dish pizza, you’ve Chicago to thank for it. While pizza’s obviously an Italian invention, different American cities put their own twist on it, and in Chicago it’s a pie. A delicious, delicious pie.

2. Barack Obama

Obama US Ireland Source: AP/Press Association Images

America’s outgoing president has well-known Irish connections, with his family tree rooted in Moneygall, Co Offaly. He’s so influential to the area, he has a service station in the area named after him. Can’t be arguing with that.

3. House music

Source: Altra Moda Music/YouTube

House music was born and raised in Chicago in the mid-eighties and has spread across the world. Some of the pioneers of house music include Frankie Knuckles, Jesse Saunders, Ron Hardy and Marshall Jefferson – and the Smart Bar, a long-standing Chicago clubbing institution, is still going strong to this day.

Chicago house music has influenced top artists around the world including Disclosure, Basement Jaxx, Major Lazer and Ireland’s own Annie Mac.

4 and 5. John and Joan Cusack

Source: Giphy

We couldn’t mention one without the other so acting siblings John and Joan Cusack are both making an appearance. The two have been acting since they were teens and have often worked together in films like Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity. Both siblings are from Evanston, Illinois (although Joan was born in New York) and now live in Chicago.

The Cusacks are Irish-American with both sets of grandparents born to Irish parents and have spent time holidaying here. John starred in the ultimate weepy of your youth, Stand By Me, and Joan’s near-marrying of Uncle Fester in Addams Family Values no doubt gave you nightmares, too.

6. Chewing gum

Kaugummis Source: korny.brot

If you’re chewing gum right now, you have Chicago to thank for it – and all the trouble you got into in school, probably. Didn’t everyone?

The first mass-produced chewing gum, Wrigley’s Chewing Gum, was invented in 1893 and is where The Wrigley Building and Wrigley Field in Chicago get their names.

7. Michael Jackson

Source: Anwar Hussein

The late, great Michael Jackson is also from Chicago (as Gary, Indiana is part of the Chicago metropolitan area), and has had a huge influence on music over the course of his lifetime. Whether he’s the sound of your childhood, teens or adulthood, he’s definitely made an appearance on the soundtrack of your life.

The King of Pop spent a lot of time in Ireland both playing live shows, recording music and just chilling.

8. One of Ireland’s greatest sporting victories

PastedImage-22176 Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Ireland recently beat the All Blacks in Chicago’s Soldier Field for the first time in 111 years. The All Blacks are back-to-back world champions and this win has got to be up there as one of Ireland’s most famous sporting victories – and it happened right there in the Windy City.

Fancy experiencing a little more Chicago culture? Heineken Sound Atlas is bringing Chicago electronic and house DJ Kate Simko to Ireland for three gigs – in Drogheda, Galway and Cork this November. Head over to Heinekenmusic.ie to find out more. 

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