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Thursday, March 19, 2009

President Obama Nominates Daniel Rooney as Ambassador to Ireland

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary

________________________________________


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 17, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today at the White House, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Daniel Rooney as the Ambassador to Ireland.
President Obama said, "I am honored and grateful that such a dedicated and accomplished individual has agreed to serve as the representative of the United States to the Irish people. Dan Rooney is an unwavering supporter of Irish peace, culture, and education, and I have every confidence that he and Secretary Clinton will ensure America’s continued close and unique partnership with Ireland in the years ahead."


Dan Rooney is the recent recipient of the American Ireland Fund’s Lifetime Achievement Award and honorary Commander of the British Empire for contributions to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, has played an integral role in the Irish peace process since the early 1970s. In 1976, Rooney co-founded the American Ireland Fund, an organization which to date has raised over $300 million for peace and education programs in Ireland. Rooney founded the annual prize for Irish Literature in 1987 and co-founded the Ireland Institution of Pittsburgh in 1989. In 1993, the "Rooney Fellowship" was created to honor his generosity and charitable works. Chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the winners of Super Bowl XLIII, Rooney was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000. He has been the recipient of various awards in relation to his work within the community and for his involvement with the National Football League over the last 26 years, including: the Sporting News NFL Executive of the Year in 1972 and 2001, the Maxwell Football Club Reds Bagwell Award in 1999, and, in 2008, the YWCA Racial Justice Award and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor presented by the National Ethnic Coalition. Rooney also led the sports world’s efforts to include diversity beyond the field and into the front office through the "Rooney Rule."



Wednesday, March 4, 2009

President Obama Declares March 2009 as Irish-American Heritage Month

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
_______________________________________

For Immediate Release March 2, 2009

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

Even before the birth of our Nation, the sons and daughters of Erin departed their homes in search of liberty and a more hopeful future. As these early pioneers left familiar lands, they carried with them the rich traditions of home. This March we honor their journey and their lasting contributions to the history and culture of the United States.

Following the colonial migrations, the United States enjoyed the greatest influx of Irish during the 1840s as Ireland suffered the Great Famine. Hungry but hopeful, poor but perseverant, Irish-Americans seized the opportunity to work hard, enjoy success, and pursue the American Dream.Many took on the difficult work of constructing America's infrastructure. Others assumed positions of leadership. Among those leaders were signers of the Declaration of Independence and Presidents of the United States. Still others enjoyed great success and influence in the arts and literature. From social activists to business leaders, athletes to clergy, and first responders to soldiers, distinguished Irish-Americans have made indelible contributions to our national identity.

Today, tens of millions of Irish-Americans can look back with pride on the legacy of their forebears. Irish-Americans are integral to the rich fabric of the United States, and we are grateful for their service and contributions.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2009 as Irish-American Heritage Month. I encourage all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, programs, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

BARACK OBAMA