By Damian Shiels

2015 marked the 150th anniversary of the ending of the American Civil War. It was a conflict that rivals World War One for the extent of Irish participation. Somewhere in the region of 200,000 Irish-born men donned either Union blue or Confederate gray during the fighting - tens of thousands of them laid down their lives. Many had left Ireland during the years of the Great Famine, escaping one tragedy only to ultimately become embroiled in another, less than a decade later.