Friday, March 20, 2009


March 20th 2009


Daffodils greeted us at Shannon as our plane dipped in along the estuary on this beautiful sunny Spring morning. Our five day skip through New York, Washington and Boston is over and Ireland awaits below green and welcoming. I’m always glad to get home. We had a frenetic but very worthwhile schedule from the Big Apple to the White House to Harvard. But, mar a deirtear, there is no place like home.

In Washington the Speaker’s lunch, hosted for the first time this year by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, had both President Obama and Vice President Biden in attendance. I was delighted to present the President with Saint Gerard’s school project. He told me that it was a wonderful gift. I agree. I was also relieved to complete my mission. Imagine if I had mislaid it or if security on Capitol Hill had seized the wonderful piece of artwork compiled by the pupils at Saint Gerard’s? No amount of explanation by Richard McAuley would have satisfied our friends at Saint Gerard’s. Fortunately all went well. Mission accomplished. No doubt a US Presidential letter will soon wing its way to the Springfield Educational Resource Centre.

This photo of President Obama and I was taken as I gave him the St. Gerard's Booklet.

The White House Reception was Clintonesque with Democrats back in the building in the very best of good form after eight years in the wilderness. There was the best of good music and poetry. A large crowd, swelled by Chicago Gaels, gave the President a great reception as the Taoiseach and he engaged in a bit of Offaly banter. Immediately after his remarks the President and his wife Michelle made their way to where Martin McGuinness stood and greeted him warmly. Incidentally insiders say that it was Michelle’s idea to have the White House fountain green for the day that was in it. Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, not to be outdone, did us all proud with a smile as wide as the Grand Canyon, as he smoozed the assembled company. He seemed completely at home in the Teach Bán.


Up in Boston after a series of back-to-back engagements, Richard and I went for a stroll before lunch and the long journey home. Imagine my surprise when I spotted what appeared to be a large bunch of young guys in O Neill tops in the street in front of us. Using skills perfected over decades of skulking we managed to sneak past…. Almost.

Sharp Andytown eyes spotted us and loud Belfast accents guldered at us. It was the La Salle ski group just back from a week on the slopes. Here you can see them in all their glory. It’s a small world.


Linda Coleman said...

Glad you made it safely home, and that the artwork made it to Obama without being confiscated by Capitol Hill security (though if it had, you know you could count us in the online community to fax, phone, and write letters 'til the package was released!)

You're home just in time to catch the rerun of the Hunger Strike episode of Ceol ón gCroí; check the TG4 website to find out when it's playing at

Hope you can get some rest and relaxation this weekend, after a job well done!

Paul Doran said...

Good man Gerry
Onto to the No to Europe Campaign
check out this very good website

Kate said...

Glad the meeting of "Presidents"
went well...and special delivery from St. Gerads made it safely.
Take time to recover from that jet lagged/jet lag.

Ta ar la anois

Mr Reality said...

Good to see you back home safe and well. You did Republican Ireland proud Gerry.

Tim said...

Fáilte ar ais Gerry,
I no other time in resent history has the opportunely been more clear and present, for a free and united Ireland. There seem no space for tepid convictions or terse realism a tentative moment in history. The traceable consanguinity in the States is a transcendent power but a trenchant phrase can be a transparent complement. A unaffected pathos , unavoidable propensities with a uncomprehending smile will not bring a unconditioned freedom.
Keep working on it Gerry , I am on your side.

Anonymous said...

Did Tim use to work on "The Good Old Days"?

Anonymous said...

it is truly pathetic reading this patronizing garbage about a love affair with the USA, is this what we lived and died for an administration that treats human rights with contempt and kidnaps Muslims, tortures them and defies all the laws of humanity?. What happened to this once great country ?what happened to this once great man Adams

Anonymous said...

I'm a lurker here but just wanted to say to the Anonymous before me. First off America is still a great country. I dont know where you get off saying,because some in the US gov screw up, therefor the whole USA is shot to shit.If we were to take that lead alot of countries arent great anymore. We(the country and the people)are changing and learning just like everyone else.
And yes what happened to Gerry Adams? how dare he be human and change and grow. He has stated in verbal and written forms that he wants Ireland free from british rule(i will assume that is your problem)just because it doesnt meet whatever straight line you have drawn and doesnt mean it's not going to work. You compromise for peace but if you are passionate about something,it never stops you from your goal.Mr. Adams started when he was (i think he said)16years old. I doubt this is some passing fancy.