Past & Present

Our story stretches from the Atlantic Coast of Ireland to North Texas to these rugged hillsides off the Pacific Coast of California. Our people come from farms and theaters and newsrooms, from the East, the South, and the West. Our timeline begins back in 1852. But before we get to that, please allow us to introduce ourselves today.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
 Oscar Wilde

Meet Your Hosts

The Legend
of Sixmilebridge

The storyline and bloodline behind Sixmilebridge stretch across continent and ocean, decade and century, to the village of Sixmilebridge, in County Clare, Ireland in 1852. That year, the landed gentry of the region sent a militia to try to coerce eighteen farmer tenants to vote against their own interests. The citizens refused. When they gathered to protest the strong-arm tactics, the militia responded by opening fire, killing six and wounding eight.

Irish sign from Sixmilebridge

When the smoke had settled and the dust had cleared, a red ceremonial hat, called a “biretta,” lay on the cobblestones, two holes marking where a bullet had passed clean through it. The biretta’s owner, Father Michael Clune, miraculously survived. Later, Zachariah Wallace, editor of The Anglo-Celt newspaper, was charged with libel against the state and imprisoned for six months after describing the event in print as “willful and deliberate murder.”

That same year, a young man named Jacobus Moroney left Sixmilebridge and the unthinkable memories of that day, and struck out in search of a better, freer life. Jacobus, along with his wife and son, James, landed in Texas, where James’s great-grandson, our proprietor Jim Moroney III, would devote his career to supporting the free press. The Dallas Morning News would earn three Pulitzer Prizes and many other honors under Jim’s leadership as its longtime publisher.

To Jim, and to all of us, Fr. Clune’s bullet-hole-ridden biretta is symbolic of the ongoing struggle to support the democratic process. Our logo depicts the hat hanging from a taut line, as straight as the path of a bullet, as strong as blood, as long as a story well told.

booklet telling the story
Dance first. Think later.
It’s the natural order.
 Samuel Beckett