Ireland Mourns The Passing Of Senator Edward Kennedy!

Sen. Edward Kennedy will be remembered as one of the greatest Americans ever.This was a man born of wealth who truly cared about every spectrum of society.Especially those who were less fortunate than him.

But,Edward Kennedy was an Irishman as well.Ireland’s foreign minister stated that the Kennedy family embodied the Irish immigrant story.And Prime Minister Brian Cowen says that Ireland has lost a “true friend.”

Here’s more from The Global Post:

Nowhere outside the United States is the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy being mourned as much as in Ireland, the country from where his ancestors emigrated during the potato famine of the 19th century and to which he helped bring peace in recent years.

President Mary McAleese said he would be remembered as a “hugely important friend to the country during very difficult times,” and Prime Minister Brian Cowen commented that Ireland had lost a true friend who “worked valiantly for the cause of peace on this island.”

The sentiments are not overblown. The Massachusetts senator was for four decades the Irish Government’s staunchest ally on Capitol Hill. He first became involved in Ireland in 1971 when he told the U.S. Senate that, “Ulster is becoming Britain’s Vietnam” and that British troops should be withdrawn.Such statements aroused deep resentment in the British establishment.

When as a reporter in London I asked Lord Hailsham, then-Lord Chancellor, what effect such interventions by Irish Americans like Senator Kennedy would have on British policy on Ireland, he retorted angrily: “Those Roman Catholic bastards, how dare they interfere!”

Kennedy grew uneasy however about being associated with Irish American groups supporting violence to achieve the same goal of a united Ireland. In 1972 he sought out John Hume in Derry for advice.

As leader of the moderate nationalist party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, in Northern Ireland, Hume was a prominent critic of pro-IRA sentiment among Irish Americans.

The senator was so impressed with the former Derry schoolteacher’s impassioned argument for constitutional reform that from then on he aligned himself with Hume on Irish issues.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here.

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