Irish Place Names and Landmarks in Argentina

History of the Toponym

Description & History of the Place
Founded by Juan Cunningham, b. 1824 in Ireland, son of Thomas Cunningham. He married to Mariana Mackay (census 1895) (Coghlan 1987: 207). Owner of estancia ‘La Paloma’, part of which he donated to found Azcuénaga. The he sold the estancia, and bought another farm ‘San Juan’. There is a street in Azcuénaga after him [1].


Irish Settlements
Elena Ham (1865-1939). Street in Azcuénaga. Daughter of John Ham and Kathleen Ganly. She was a key benefactor of the ‘Nuestra Señora del Rosario’ chapel, and founder of the ‘Nuestra Señora de Luján’ school in San Andrés de Giles (1 April 1914), originally aimed at Irish-Argentine children. Other benefactors of the ‘Nuestra Señora del Rosario’ chapel were:
  • Guillermo Ham (1857-1923), brother of Elena Ham. Died in estancia Santa Elena, in Azcuénaga.
  • Scully family
  • Cunningham family
  • Mariana Mackay de Cunningham donated the lands to the La Plata bishopric in 13 May 1902. [1]

The Irish Argentine [1888 to March 1889; weekly/irregular]. Founded by Juan Cunningham (b. Ireland 1824). The Irish Argentine, founded by Father Bernard Feeney (1844-1919), from Co. Roscommon, Ireland. Fr Feeney ‘established in Mercedes, north of Buenos Aires, Argentina’s first industrial school. The school was created as the non-fee-paying wing of the Pallotine Order’s St. Patrick College to provide orphaned boys opportunities to learn a trade. Feeney secured printing equipment and, as a training exercise, produced twelve issues of a monthly magazine Flowers and Fruit. Due to problems of school management, in 1887 the non-fee-paying wing was transferred to the village of Azcuénaga, a short distance south of San Antonio de Areco. Azcuénaga seemed an ideal location for the school as there was a high concentration of Irish living in the neighbourhood, including many prosperous families who, it was hoped, would provide financial support. The printing equipment was moved to Azcuénaga and a more professional journal, the Irish Argentine, was created. Edited by Feeney, the Irish Argentine was described by the Southern Cross in its 6 January 1888 edition as being "a strenuous defender of Catholicism as well as Irish and Argentine interests". William Bulfin, under the pen-name of "Bullfinch", contributed some of his first essays to the paper and went on to serve as editor of the Southern Cross. The Irish Argentine was to have been published weekly, but in the course of a year, only twelve issues were produced. The school closed in the late 1888 and the paper survived a few months longer until Feeney’s departure for Rome’ [2].

‘Camino de los Ingleses’. Estancias of Bird, Gibney, Kenny, Welsh, Mullally, Moran, etc. [1]

First Irish settlers:

  • Patricio Whelan (ca 1855) (Coghlan 1987: 891)
  • Miguel Bird
  • Enrique Dillon
  • Guillermo Boggan
  • James Scully [1]

[1] Héctor Terrén
[2] Marshall 1996: 1

1. Azcuénaga from the highway
2. Railway station
3. Railway station
4. Paisano and Elena Ham street sign
5. Elena Ham street sign
6. Nuestra Señora del Rosario chapel
7. Nuestra Señora del Rosario chapel
8. (Juan) Cunningham street sign
9. (Juan) Cunningham street sign
10. Nuestra Señora del Rosario chapel (interior).
11. Baptistry
12. Baptistry (detail).
13. Azcuénaga's old pulpería.
14. Don Desiderio (91). When he was a teenager, he was in charge of bread delivery to the Irish estancias.
15. Don Desiderio, Héctor Terrén, Gustavo Delía.
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12
13 14 15


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Copyright © The Irish Argentine Historical Society. 2004