I, too, had Thomas N. Riley b. 1830-1832 Connecticut, parents b. Ireland, a puzzle for years. Subsequent research gave a lot of information, but the pieces came together last year when a young cousin found the Railroad Engineers Journal on Google - these were union publications. So many assumptions became facts because of the article on Thomas N. Riley, even a photo of him; his entire RR career laid out, his father (Michael R. Riley, b. Ireland @1800)working on the canals and then the railroad, and gave me a brother, John R., who was a new person. All three connected to the Michigan Central Railroad.
There is a researcher on the Connecticut canals & the Irish who were imported directly from Ireland to Connecticut; he gives a lot of information on their lives and why there are so many Irish-lineage ancestors born there in the 1830's, far earlier than the Great Famine.
I would like to connect with others who have the 1830's Connecticut link to see if there is a common thread to WHERE in Ireland they lived.