Presidential Proclamation — Irish-American Heritage Month, 2013

IRISH-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH, 2013

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

For more than two centuries, America has been made and remade by striving, hopeful immigrants looking for a chance to pursue their dreams. Millions among them were born in Ireland, separated from our shores but united by their belief in a better day. This month, we celebrate the Irish-American journey, and we reflect on the ways a nation so small has inspired so much in another.

Generations of Irish left the land of their forebears to cast their fortunes with a young Republic. Escaping the blight of famine or the burden of circumstance, many found hardship even here. They endured prejudice and stinging ridicule. But through it all, these new citizens never gave up on one of our oldest ideas: that anyone from anywhere can write the next great chapter in the American story. So they raised families and built communities, earned a living and sent their kids to school. In time, what it meant to be Irish helped define what it means to be American. And as they did their part to make this country stronger, Irish Americans shared in its success, retaining the best of their heritage and passing it down to their children.

That familiar story has been lived and cherished by Americans from all backgrounds, and it reaffirms our identity as a Nation of immigrants from all around the world. So as we celebrate Irish-American Heritage Month, let us retell those stories of sweat and striving. And as two nations united by people and principle, may America and Ireland always continue to move forward together in common purpose.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2013 as Irish-American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

Henry Healy joins Ireland Reaching Out

Loughrea, Galway, June 27th 2012, Henry Healy, community leader and high profile cousin of the current US President Barack Obama has joined Ireland Reaching Out, the national Diaspora initiative piloted in South-East Galway in 2011 and being rolled out nationally through 2012/2013. His new role as Ireland XO Community Activation Leader will involve visiting parishes and parish groups around Ireland introducing the Ireland XO organisation and objectives and working with them to reach out and engage with their Diaspora around the world.

Commenting on Henry’s appointment, Ireland Reaching Out Chairman and Founder Mike Feerick said that “Henry is the perfect person to work with parishes around the country on harnessing the benefits and potential of reaching out to their Diaspora. What the community in Moneygall have done is an inspiration to every local Irish community, yet every Irish parish has both high and low profile connections around the world who are very interested in learning more about and becoming involved in the parishes of their ancestors. Henry Healy stated that “I am truly delighted to become part of this innovative and highly energetic organisation. I believe in the power of the Diaspora and the powerful and positive contribution it can make over the long term to Irish people, at home and abroad. I am looking forward to working with parishes across Ireland through the coming year”

The Ireland XO is working in close partnership with the Gathering 2013 initiative which is preparing to invite an additional 340,000 visitors to Ireland through the end of 2013, and also with local county council and LEADER groups. Shannon Development, the economic development agency for the Mid-West is leading the adoption of Ireland XO in 376 parishes in its area with the assistance of local authority and LEADER organisations. Parishes across Ireland who are not yet involved in Ireland XO or the Gathering 2013 initiative are encouraged to contact the Ireland XO Headquarters in Loughrea, Co Galway. Henry Healy will be joining Ireland XO Parish Liaison Officer John Joe Conwell at promotional Gathering 2013 events in Castlebar, Co Mayo, Rathkeale, Co Limerick, and Thurles & Nenagh, Co Tipperary in coming weeks.

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