I arrived back into Ireland this morning after 6 busy days in the USA. Yesterday was a great day to be Irish with millions celebrating St. Patrick’s Day across the globe. My day started early with the traditional St. Patrick’s Day breakfast with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Mayor de Blasio presented me with a Proclamation. In turn I presented him with a copy of a book Elizabeth Billups from New Mexico and I produced two years ago – Ireland: One Island, No Borders – which is a mix of photographs from across the island of Ireland mixed with text by both of us.
I also presented Mayor de Blasio with a special limited edition of ‘Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass – an American Slave’ which has been published by his direct descendants, Nettie Washington Douglass and her son Kenneth Morris. Only 711 signed and numbered copies have been produced and I am grateful to my friend Todd Allen for his generosity in providing it. I might write more on this later.
Lá Féile Pádraig is an opportunity each year to thank Irish America and to reaffirm the strong bonds between Ireland and that very important part of the Irish diaspora. Irish America has never lost sight of Ireland and the desire for peace and independence, and it continues to be as supportive of this today as in previous generations.
And then there was the Rugby grand slam. What a win. What a great day to be Irish.