Where were YOU when you first heard ‘I have a dream’?
A SILVER VOICE FROM IRELAND
In August 1963, when I was 15 years of age, I was running to do something in the kitchen. (We tended to run in those days instead of walking!) Passing by the open living room door where my father was watching the news on television, I was stopped dead in my tracks by the rousing words ‘I.. HAVE… A DREAM ‘.I was aware that there were ongoing civil rights issues in the USA at that time, and the name Martin Luther King was familiar. I had not however ever heard him speak before and I was riveted to the spot.
This was Martin Luther King, the voice of Black America, delivering a speech in which the spoken word became a servant of his cause. It was beamed across the world and affected the lives on many of the millions who watched, including myself, a teenager in County Donegal, Ireland.
It has been…
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Barack Obama, President of the United States of America and his wife Michelle, visited the village of Moneygall, Co. Offaly on a wild, windy day, 23 May 2011, retracing the steps of a relative from 6 generations before him, Fulmouth Kearney, a maternal g.g.g.grandfather, who left this tiny village in 1850 and headed to U.S.A. Fulmouth Kearney’s father was a shoemaker in the area. The small house is on the site where his relatives once lived. The President and Mrs Obama sipped Guinness in Ollie Hayes Pub. I just love the image on the wall by the door of the pub (it’s not really George Bush standing there !)
Moneygall is a pretty little village carefully looked after by the residents – every house had window boxes and flowers in full bloom when I passed through on Sunday on my last stop for ‘Heritage Week. A few short years ago, thousands of vehicles passed through this little village every day as it is situated on the busy main Limerick to Dublin road. The village is now bypassed,allowing the villagers to reclaim their special place. Here you can stop and relax and enjoy a cup of coffee and catch up on the link with Barack Obama. Papillion, the winner of the Aintree Grand National in 2000, was bred in this area, and was the most famous Moneygall personality before Barack Obama!
When Obama addressed the crowds in Dublin earlier in the visit,he used the Irish translation from his famous ‘Yes, we can! , which translates to ‘Is feidir linn’. This can be seen on the flower tubs in the village. Well done, Moneygall! Is feidir linn!