CNN World News
October 28, 1999

                  Mexican congress honors Irish who fought for Mexico

                  MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico added the San Patricio Battalion to the
                  names of national heroes inscribed in gold on the wall of Congress on
                  Thursday, honoring the Irish soldiers who deserted the American army to
                  fight for Mexico in the war of 1846-1848.

                  Some emigrants from Ireland in the early 19th century joined the U.S. Army
                  as a way to obtain citizenship, and were sent off to fight in the U.S. invasion
                  of Mexico.

                  It was a time when anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant prejudice was strong in the
                  United States. A few of the soldiers, finding Mexico's Roman Catholic
                  culture more appealing and the U.S. invasion unjust, deserted to the
                  Mexican side.

                  They were among the most tenacious fighters in the Mexican army, which
                  was defeated in 1848 with the U.S. capture of Mexico City. Most of the
                  men from the Irish battalion were hung as deserters.

                  The ceremony coincided with the recent release of a film about the battalion,
                  "One Man's Hero," in theaters in the capital.