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Irish President Acknowledges Irish-American Groups in First US Visit
President Michael D. Higgins is currently on his first official trip to the US, visiting New York and Boston during his six-day tour. He spoke yesterday at a reception on Park Avenue in New York where he highlighted Ireland’s strong ties to the city and thanked Irish groups for the work they do for Ireland and their communities.
During his engagement, the President addressed a group of prominent Irish Americans. The event was hosted by Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny. President Higgins also thanked members of the New York Irish community for keeping traditions alive and serving the needs of those in the area:
This is my first visit as President of Ireland to the United States. I wanted to come here, at this early stage of my Presidency, because of all the world’s great cities, New York is one where the mutual history of Ireland and America resonates so powerfully. I come here to pay tribute to the enormous contribution which Irish people and their descendants have made to create the New York of today: one of the world’s foremost business, intellectual and cultural centres. Ireland can be rightly proud of the great success and energy which is so representative of the Irish Community in New York.
Over the next few days I will visit places and meet with people who represent in a profound way the ties of family, history, community and culture which bind Ireland and New York so closely together. Here and now I want to thank all of you for the great work that you do here on behalf of Ireland and on behalf of your communities – whether in the County Associations, in your businesses, in the Emigrant Support Centres, the GAA, the St Patricks Parade Committee, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Comhaltas Ceoltoirí, the Irish Arts Centre and the Irish Repertory Theatre or any of the great Irish community and cultural associations founded by your ancestors that are still keeping the tradition of their forebears alive today, while serving new needs and different times.
President Higgins is set to continue his visit today by stopping by Wall Street, honoring victims of September 11 at the memorial, and visiting the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park. He will also visit the UN, and meet with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg before moving on to Boston.