A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 12, 2015
“There are two classes of people, those who are Irish and those who lack ambition”

"There are two classes of people, those who are Irish and those who lack ambition” is a quote that is usually credited to Anthony O’Reilly (several people go by this name). The saying is popular on St. Patrick’s Day and often involves drinking—those who are not Irish and who do not drink enough are said to “lack ambition.”

“There are two classes of people, those who are Irish and those who lack ambition” has been cited in print since at least 1996.


Wikipedia: Saint Patrick’s Day
Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians also attend church services, and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.

Google Books
First Aid for the Soul
By Jordan Hayes
White Plains, NY: Peter Pauper Press, Inc.
1996
Pg. ?:
There are two classes of people, those who are Irish and those who lack ambition.
Anthony O’Reilly

Celtic-L Archives
Subject: Re: Comic Question…
From: Michelle McGraw <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997 21:14:19 -0500
(...)
There are 2 classes of people, those who are Irish and those who lackambition. 
--Anthony O’Reilly

Google Books
The Luck of the Irish
By Joan Larson Kelly
White Plains, NY: Peter Pauper Press, Inc.
2005
Pg. 39:
There are two classes of people, those who are Irish and those who lack ambition.
ANTHONY O’REILLY

Twitter
Master of the World
‏@Millionare666
There are two classes of people, those who are Irish and those who lack ambition.
7:20 AM - 19 Oct 2011

Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette
How to go green for St. Patrick’s Day responsibly, culturally and tastefully
March 12, 2015 12:00 AM
By Ted Smyth and Malachy McCourt
There are two types of Americans on St. Patrick’s Day, those who are Irish and those who lack ambition.” So goes the old joke which captures the love for Ireland across America, a nation with 40 million people of Irish descent.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, March 12, 2015 • Permalink