Search This Blog

Loading...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

US Ambassador Kevin O'Malley Sends Video Greeting to People of Ireland



Kevin F. O'Malley, the new US Ambassador to the Ireland appointed by President Barack Obama, issued a video greeting this week to the Irish people.

"I'm delighted to join you here in Ireland," O'Malley said in the video, adding that he would "look forward to building on the family, cultural and business ties we share between our two countries."

O'Malley was nominated by President Obama on June 5, 2014 and was confirmed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 18, 2014. Here is a biography of Ambassador O'Malley.

The US Embassy to Ireland is located at 42 Elgin Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

United States and Ireland Celebrate 90 Years of Diplomatic Relations on October 7




Tuesday, October 7, 2014 marks the 90th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and the United States.  That was the day, in 1924, when "Professor Timothy Smiddy presented his credentials as Ambassador of the Irish Free State to U.S. President Calvin Coolidge," according to a new video issued by the Embassy of Ireland in the United States.

"America became the first country with whom we established diplomatic relations," noted Anne Anderson, Ireland's current Ambassador to the United States, in the video.

But it would take almost three more years before Washington and Dublin could enjoy a reciprocal diplomatic relation because of a lack of clarification about the "status of each one of the self-governing Dominions constituting the British Commonwealth," wrote The Boston Globe on August 21, 1927.  Once that obstacle was clarified, the United States soon after assigned career diplomat Frederick Sterling to serve as the first U.S. Ambassador to the Irish Free State.

Sterling, who had been stationed at the American Embassy in London, arrived in Ireland on July 25, 1927.  The Boston Globe reported: "A glorious summer evening with clear skies and sunshine bathing the hills was Ireland's greeting to Mr. Sterling as the mail boat, "Scotia," conveying him from Holyhead, sighted the Irish coast."

Find about more about the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, DC, USA.

Here is information about the Embassy of the United States in Dublin, Ireland.

Follow @Obama_IrishUSA on twitter.





Sunday, September 28, 2014

U.S. Senate Confims Kevin O'Malley as American Ambassador to Ireland


Kevin O'Malley, President Barack Obama's nominee to be the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, was confirmed for the postion by the U.S. Senate on Thursday, September 18, 2014.

President Obama had nominated Mr. O'Malley on June 5, 2014.  O'Malley testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July.

The post had been empty for 21 months, last held by Dan Rooney, who held the job for over three years.

The U.S. Embassy in Ireland is located at 42 Elgin Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin.




Friday, July 18, 2014

Kevin O'Malley, Nominee for US Ambassador to Ireland, Testifies Before Senate Foreign Relations Committee


Kevin O'Malley testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations this week about becoming the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. It was part of a full day of hearings at the Capitol.

Here is Mr. O'Malley's full testimony.

O'Malley said, "Ireland is one of our most reliable allies and stable trading partners," adding that "Trade and investment ties between the United States and Ireland will be furthered strengthened if we can reach agreement on an ambitious Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership."

President Obama nominated O'Malley on June 5, 2014 to replace former U.S. Ambassador Dan Rooney, who retired in December 2012.

The U.S. Embassy in Ireland is located at 42 Elgin Road in Dublin's Ballsbridge neighborhood.  Find current activities on Facebook.


President Obama Speaks about Immigration Reform




President Barack Obama addressed the pressing issue of immigration reform on June 9, 2014, after meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry about the influx of children from Central America coming into the Rio Grande basin.

President Obama said  Congress must be "prepared to act in order to solve the problem.  I urged the Governor to talk to the Texas delegation is prepared to move" on the  supplemental legislation, "this problem could get solved."

Here is more information on the President's White  House policy on immigration reform.






Thursday, June 5, 2014

President Obama Nominates Kevin O'Malley of St. Louis as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland


President Barack Obama nominated Kevin F. O'Malley, a respected attorney in St. Louis and long-time supporter of the president, as the next U.S. Ambassador to the United States.  The nomination was sent to the United States Senate on June 5, 2014 for confirmation.

Mr. O'Malley will fill the position last held by Daniel Rooney of Pittsburgh, PA, who left the post in December 2012.

Here is the White House's information on O'Malley  . :

Kevin F. O’Malley is an officer in the Litigation Department at Greensfelder, Hemker and Gale in St. Louis, Missouri and has been a practicing trial lawyer for over 35 years.  Mr. O’Malley has been an adjunct professor at Washington University School of Law since 2013, and taught at St. Louis University School of Law from 1979 to 1985.  He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in St. Louis from 1979 to 1983 and was a Special Attorney in the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Department of Justice from 1974 to 1979.  In 2009, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon appointed Mr. O’Malley to the Missouri Board of Healing Arts.  Mr. O'Malley served as a legal instructor for the American Bar Association's Central and East European Law Initiative in Moscow in 1996 and Warsaw in 1999.  He received an A.B. and a J.D. from Saint Louis University.

Find out more about the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, Ireland on facebook.

Follow us on Twitter @Obama_IrishUSA

Saturday, March 15, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Statement from John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State


Here is a statement by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry regarding St. Patrick's Day:

The American people join Irish people all over the world in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.

Today, we look back with pride on Irish contributions to America’s history and cultural heritage. But we also look forward as Irish immigrants continue to renew America and remind us of our common roots. President Obama said it best: “There’s always been a little green behind the red, white, and blue.” I couldn’t agree more. As a former Senator from Massachusetts, home to one of the largest Irish-American populations in our country, I hold a special appreciation of what Ireland means to America.

There are many Irish immigrants who have helped write America’s story with their incredible success. Today, we honor them and the next generation of leaders on both sides of the Atlantic who are supporting this vital relationship.

Our partnership is broader and deeper than ever before. We’re working together to promote civil society, science and technology, education, and entrepreneurship. We’re also forging new academic and professional partnerships and pursuing opportunities through delegations, such as the one led by Special Representative Drew O’Brien to Limerick and Belfast in January.

Our investments in peace and prosperity will continue to strengthen the bonds between Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United States, and promote economic growth in both our countries.

We often remark that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. In the words of Ireland’s great poets, to the island’s outsized place in world history, to the powerful example it sets for the world, there is a heritage for us all to celebrate.

On this joyous holiday, we offer the people of Ireland our warmest wishes and look forward to strengthening the Irish–American relationship for years to come.

President Obama's Remarks at St. Patrick's Day Reception at the White House, March 14, 2014




President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, along with Vice President Joe Biden, welcomed Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny and his wife Finnuala to the White House on Friday, March 14, 2014. 

Earlier in the day, President Obama and Prime Minister Kenny met to discuss issues of mutual interest, including progress in Northern Ireland and immigration.  Here are comments.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

President Barack Obama Declares Irish-American Heritage Month, 2014


- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Centuries after America welcomed the first sons and daughters of the Emerald Isle to our shores, Irish heritage continues to enrich our Nation. This month, we reflect on proud traditions handed down through the generations, and we celebrate the many threads of green woven into the red, white, and blue.

Irish Americans have defended our country through times of war, strengthened communities from coast to coast, and poured sweat and blood into building our infrastructure and raising our skyscrapers. Some endured hunger, hardship, and prejudice; many rose to be leaders of government, industry, or culture. Their journey is a testament to the resilience of the Irish character, a people who never stopped dreaming of a brighter future and never stopped striving to make that dream a reality.

Today, Americans of all backgrounds can find common ground in the values of faith and perseverance, and we can all draw strength from the unshakable belief that through hard work and sacrifice, we can forge better lives for ourselves and our families.

The American and Irish peoples enjoy a friendship deepened by both shared heritage and shared ideals. On the international stage, we are proud to work in concert toward a freer, more just world. As we honor that enduring connection during Irish-American Heritage Month, let us look forward to many more generations of partnership. May the bond between our peoples only grow in the centuries to come.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2014 as Irish-American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sunday, December 29, 2013

White House issues National Security Council statement on Northern Ireland talks


National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlyn Hayden issued the following statement today:

"Talks led by independent chair Richard Haass with the five parties of the Northern Ireland Executive have reached a critical juncture. The goal has been and remains to reach agreement before the end of the year on new arrangements for parading, flags, and contending with the legacy of past violence. 
Initiating these talks demonstrated the commitment of the parties and people of Northern Ireland to move forward on tough issues. We are confident that a solution can be reached if there is political will on all sides.

"We call upon the leadership of the five parties to make the compromises necessary to conclude an agreement now, one that would help heal the divisions that continue to stand between the people of Northern Ireland and the future they deserve."


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

President Barack Obama's Eulogy of Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg




To Gra├ža Machel and the Mandela family; to President Zuma and members of the government; to heads of state and government, past and present; distinguished guests - it is a singular honor to be with you today, to celebrate a life unlike any other.  To the people of South Africa - people of every race and walk of life - the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us.  His struggle was your struggle.  His triumph was your triumph.  Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy.

It is hard to eulogize any man - to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person - their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone’s soul.  How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world.

Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by elders of his Thembu tribe - Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century.  Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement - a movement that at its start held little prospect of success.  Like King, he would give potent voice to the claims of the oppressed, and the moral necessity of racial justice.  He would endure a brutal imprisonment that began in the time of Kennedy and Khrushchev, and reached the final days of the Cold War.  Emerging from prison, without force of arms, he would - like Lincoln - hold his country together when it threatened to break apart.  Like America’s founding fathers, he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for future generations - a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election, but by his willingness to step down from power.

Given the sweep of his life, and the adoration that he so rightly earned, it is tempting then to remember Nelson Mandela as an icon, smiling and serene, detached from the tawdry affairs of lesser men.  But Madiba himself strongly resisted such a lifeless portrait. Instead, he insisted on sharing with us his doubts and fears; his miscalculations along with his victories.  “I’m not a saint,” he said, “unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”

It was precisely because he could admit to imperfection - because he could be so full of good humor, even mischief, despite the heavy burdens he carried - that we loved him so.  He was not a bust made of marble; he was a man of flesh and blood - a son and husband, a father and a friend.  That is why we learned so much from him; that is why we can learn from him still.  For nothing he achieved was inevitable.  In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness; persistence and faith.  He tells us what’s possible not just in the pages of dusty history books, but in our own lives as well.

Mandela showed us the power of action; of taking risks on behalf of our ideals.  Perhaps Madiba was right that he inherited, “a proud rebelliousness, a stubborn sense of fairness” from his father. Certainly he shared with millions of black and colored South Africans the anger born of, “a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered moments…a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people.”

But like other early giants of the ANC - the Sisulus and Tambos - Madiba disciplined his anger; and channeled his desire to fight into organization, and platforms, and strategies for action, so men and women could stand-up for their dignity.  Moreover, he accepted the consequences of his actions, knowing that standing up to powerful interests and injustice carries a price.  “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination,” he said at his 1964 trial.  “I’ve cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.  It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.  But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Mandela taught us the power of action, but also ideas; the importance of reason and arguments; the need to study not only those you agree with, but those who you don’t.  He understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls, or extinguished by a sniper’s bullet.  He turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquence and passion, but also his training as an advocate. He used decades in prison to sharpen his arguments, but also to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement.  And he learned the language and customs of his oppressor so that one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depended upon his.

Mandela demonstrated that action and ideas are not enough; no matter how right, they must be chiseled into laws and institutions.  He was practical, testing his beliefs against the hard surface of circumstance and history.  On core principles he was unyielding, which is why he could rebuff offers of conditional release, reminding the Apartheid regime that, “prisoners cannot enter into contracts.”  But as he showed in painstaking negotiations to transfer power and draft new laws, he was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal.  And because he was not only a leader of a movement, but a skillful politician, the Constitution that emerged was worthy of this multiracial democracy; true to his vision of laws that protect minority as well as majority rights, and the precious freedoms of every South African.

Finally, Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit.  There is a word in South Africa- Ubuntu - that describes his greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that can be invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.  We can never know how much of this was innate in him, or how much of was shaped and burnished in a dark, solitary cell.  But we remember the gestures, large and small - introducing his jailors as honored guests at his inauguration; taking the pitch in a Springbok uniform; turning his family’s heartbreak into a call to confront HIV/AIDS - that revealed the depth of his empathy and understanding.  He not only embodied Ubuntu; he taught millions to find that truth within themselves.  It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailor as well; to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion, generosity and truth. He changed laws, but also hearts.

For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe - Madiba’s passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate his heroic life.  But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection. With honesty, regardless of our station or circumstance, we must ask:  how well have I applied his lessons in my own life?

It is a question I ask myself - as a man and as a President.  We know that like South Africa, the United States had to overcome centuries of racial subjugation.  As was true here, it took the sacrifice of countless people - known and unknown - to see the dawn of a new day.  Michelle and I are the beneficiaries of that struggle.  But in America and South Africa, and countries around the globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not done.  The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality and universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before, but they are no less important.  For around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger, and disease; run-down schools, and few prospects for the future.  Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and are still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love.

We, too, must act on behalf of justice.  We, too, must act on behalf of peace.  There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality.  There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people.  And there are too many of us who stand on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.

The questions we face today - how to promote equality and justice; to uphold freedom and human rights; to end conflict and sectarian war - do not have easy answers.  But there were no easy answers in front of that child in Qunu.  Nelson Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done.  South Africa shows us that is true.  South Africa shows us we can change.  We can choose to live in a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes.  We can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity.

We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again.  But let me say to the young people of Africa, and young people around the world - you can make his life’s work your own.  Over thirty years ago, while still a student, I learned of Mandela and the struggles in this land.  It stirred something in me.  It woke me up to my responsibilities - to others, and to myself - and set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today.  And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be better.  He speaks to what is best inside us.  After this great liberator is laid to rest; when we have returned to our cities and villages, and rejoined our daily routines, let us search then for his strength - for his largeness of spirit - somewhere inside ourselves.  And when the night grows dark, when injustice weighs heavy on our hearts, or our best laid plans seem beyond our reach - think of Madiba, and the words that brought him comfort within the four walls of a cell:

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

What a great soul it was.  We will miss him deeply.  May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela.  May God bless the people of South Africa.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Caroline Kennedy is sworn in as US Ambassador to Japan


Caroline Kennedy was sworn in as the US Ambassador to Japan on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at the US State Department.

At a reception later that evening at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry gave welcoming remarks to those who gathered, saying that the appointment of Ambassador Kennedy to Japan is "a symbol of reconciliation, a symbol of possibilities, a symbol of people who know how to put the past behind them and look to the future and build a future together. That is, in today’s world, both remarkable and beautiful."

Ambassador Kennedy made brief remarks at the reception.

Kennedy is the honorary president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in Boston. 



Saturday, October 26, 2013

President Obama Urges Congress to Pass Immigration Reform Legislation this Year


This week, President Barack Obama urged Republicans and Democrats alike to pass an Immigration Reform bill this year. 

Speaking at the White House and surrounded by business officials, community leaders, religious clergy and immigration experts, the president expressed an urgency to "modernize our legal immigration system, so that even as we train American workers for the jobs of the future, we’re also attracting highly-skilled entrepreneurs from beyond our borders to join with us to create jobs here in the United States."

Read the full text of the speech here.  Find out more about the White House immigration reform initiative.

Follow Irish Americans for Obama on twitter.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Congratulations to Caroline Kennedy, US Ambassador to Japan


The United States Senate has confirmed the appointment of Caroline Kennedy 
to become the next US Ambassador to Japan.  She won the unanimous endorsement Wednesday, October 16, 2013, according to CBS News.

Her confirmation hearing took place before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 19, 2013.  Here is a video of that hearing.  She promised to carry on the legacy of her father, President John F. Kennedy.

Kennedy, who is the president of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, has recently completed a  book on her grandmother's historical photographs, entitled Rose Kennedy's Family Album.

Visit the JFK Library for more information about President Kennedy and the Kennedy family.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

President Obama Praises American Workers this Labor Day Weekend



(August 31, 2013) - President Barack Obama praised the contributions of working men and women this Labor Day Weekend in his weekly address to the nation. 

President Obama said, "Over the past four and a half years, we’ve fought our way back from the worst recession of our lifetimes. And thanks to the grit and resilience of the American people, we’ve begun to lay a foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth. But as any working family will tell you, we’re not where we need to be.

"But if we take a few bold steps – and if Washington is able to come together with common purpose and common resolve – we’ll get there. Our economy will keep getting stronger and more Americans will be able to join the ranks of the middle-class."

Here is a transcript of the speech.

Here is a video of the Labor Day address:



Follow Obama_IrishUSA on Twitter.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

US Secretary of State John Kerry Comments on President Kennedy's Historic Visit to Ireland Fifty Years Ago

President Kennedy in Ireland, 1963
(Photo Courtesy of JFK Library) 
 
John Kerry, US Secretary of State, has published his reflections of President John F. Kennedy's historic visit to Ireland in June 1963.  In an essay titled The Legacy of JFK: Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of His Visit to Ireland, Secretary Kerry remarked on "the spirit and idealism of the Kennedy years" and what that meant to his generation growing up in the Cold War era.

"I particularly remember watching the news on a little black and white television set as America’s first Catholic President returned to the land of his heritage to celebrate a moment of pride on both sides of the Atlantic and a remarkable reminder that the United States was a nation of immigrants focused on the future but deeply proud of its roots," Kerry says.

This past week, Caroline Kennedy and her family returned to Ireland to retrace her father's visit fifty years ago, stopping in New Ross, County Wexford, from where the Kennedy family originated, and Bruff, County Limerick, where the Fitzgeralds came from.

For more information on President Kennedy, visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, located in Boston, Massachusetts. 








Monday, June 17, 2013

President and Mrs. Barack Obama Address Youth Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland


President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama addressed an assembly of young people at the Belfast Waterfront in Belfast, Northern Ireland today.

The president is attending the G-8 Summit Meeting in Belfast this week, while Mrs. Obama and her daughters are visiting Northern Ireland and the  Republic of Ireland.

Mrs. Obama talked about leadership and the importance of "honesty, hard work and a commitment to education."

President Obama talked about the peace process and the challenges facing a new generation of young people all around the world.

"You must remind us of the existence of peace -- the possibility of peace.  You have to remind us of hope again and again and again.  Despite resistance, despite setbacks, despite hardship, despite tragedy, you have to remind us of the future again and again and again," President Obama said.


Read the entire transcript here.

Follow Obama_IrishUSA on Twitter.