Monday, 10 August 2009

American Ambassador Pays Courtesy Call


© Sean ÓNéill 2009
Left to Right
The Bride’s father, Eamon Walsh, Mrs. Patricia Rooney, Ambassador Dan Rooney, Amelia and Sean O’Neill, and Mrs. Mary Walsh.

New appointed United States Ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney, while on official duties at Shannon Airport in Co. Clare, paid a courtesy call last week to two Irish families who made international news when they invited US troops in a Co. Clare hotel to join their wedding celebrations.

The soldiers en route to Iraq were delayed at Shannon airport and billeted in the hotel awaiting repairs to their aircraft. (See story in Blog below, ‘Some Mother’s Son’)

Ambassador Rooney, who was sworn in on July 1, is well-know in Irish-American circles, not least, as owner of the American football team the Pittsburgh Steelers, but also as a prominent supporter and fundraiser of the American Ireland Fund.

The Ambassador was visiting Shannon Airport to officiate at the opening of the US custom and border protection services at the airport. The facility, the first of its kind in Europe, will allow passengers pre-checked at the airport to arrive at their destination in the US without further time-delaying security checks.

The Ambassador met the families at the home of Sean and Amelia O’Neill (The writer’s nephew), and stayed for the customary Irish cup of tea. Sean said, “It was a very low key event, we just sat around and had a little chit-chat.

I strongly intimated to my nephew that if there was any mention of prid pro quo that his dear old Uncle would greatly appreciate a couple of the Ambassador’s Super Bowl tickets. Alas, the young people of today, he never even mentioned it, they just don‘t listen to their elders.

However, Mr. Ambassador, if you happen to read this …

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