Ed Shevlin's story is great, if you don't know it already: NYC garbage man who got his GED in his 30s, went to college in his 40s and learned Irish. Now he's in his 50s and is doing a Masters in Irish Studies at NYU.
His research paper on John Kilgallon from Far Rockaway, who took part in the Easter Rising, is summarized in the NY Times.
John was sent away to St. Enda’s School in Dublin, a boarding school run by Patrick Pearse, who went on to help lead the Easter Rising.
Mr. Pearse recruited Mr. Kilgallon and other St. Enda’s students for a unit that stormed the General Post Office, where the rebels set up their headquarters.And then there's this: "Mr. Shevlin will speak about this research in April at an annual meeting on Irish studies at the University of Notre Dame."
Over the course of several days of fierce fighting, Mr. Kilgallon broke into a nearby wax museum and stole a costume of Queen Elizabeth I and returned to the fight wearing it.