"If you just said, 'People left their country for economic opportunities, religious freedom and political security,' Ireland might not be the first place that comes to mind," Gainer said. "But if you back up 100 years, that's exactly why people left. They were starving to death."
It's worth remembering, Gainer said, amid the holiday revelry.
"You don't get to celebrate ancestors who came over during a famine and then ignore immigrants coming over for the same reasons," she said.