The first Europeans to settle in Pittsburgh in large numbers were Scots-Irish. Later, the Irish were a major part of the wave of immigrants who came to the Steel City for the promise of a job. These jobs often turned out be laborious and low-paying.

Jim Lamb, President of the Irish Institute of Pittsburgh, has a vast knowledge of Irish heritage in Pittsburgh. He says a major turning point for the population of Pittsburgh and many other northeastern cities was the Irish immigration. But he says Pittsburgh also had a successful Irish community as the mass immigration occurred.