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March 19, 2014
by Rick Bell FAIA Executive Director AIA New York
Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny to Gracie Mansion on St. Patrick’s Day.

Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny to Gracie Mansion for an early breakfast on Monday, March 17. With two hundred other daughters and sons of Ireland in the room, among them labor leaders and cultural figures, the Mayor was effusive in his praise, saying “the presence of the Irish in New York City over the centuries is to be celebrated today in the peoples’ house.”

Recalling his youth in Massachusetts, growing up in the district represented by legendary House Speaker Tip O’Neill, Mayor de Blasio said that he saw the benefit of Irish political leadership at close hand and was raised in an atmosphere very much benefiting from Irish culture.

After thanking Brian O’Dwyer, who had introduced him, the Mayor reflected upon the role of the Irish in New York, saying “This is a very busy place, yet sometimes we have to slow down for a few minutes and appreciate our ancestors and what they accomplished. The resiliency and culture of our city benefit from the resilience and culture of the Irish people.”

He offered a toast to the Irish “because in this city of immigrants we never forget where we come from and the hard work and enterprise it took to establish the city of today.”

And introducing Mr. Kenny, the Taoiseach, who has been Ireland’s leader since March of 2011, the Mayor offered “Let me say that a few months is hard enough, but three years is very impressive” adding “I am to offer you a hundred thousand welcomes, but with an upgrade let’s make that two hundred thousand welcomes, or even a million.”

The Prime Minister praised the Mayor’s “understanding of the Irish frame of mind” and spoke of how things have changed in his country “from the blockades of the past to the open doors of the future.”

Gifts were exchanged, the Mayor received a book called Island of Shadows from the Prime Minister, and gave, in return, a lovely clear glass apple. When this crystal symbol dropped to the floor, without breaking, the luck of the Irish was extolled. The Mayor concluded by saying “The apple is whole. The apple has landed. This is one of the great symbols of our city. Neither red nor green, but today it should be a green apple.”

 

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Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny to Gracie Mansion for an early breakfast on Monday, March 17. With two hundred other daughters and sons of Ireland in the room, among them labor leaders and cultural figures, the Mayor was effusive in his praise, saying "the presence of the Irish in New York City over the centuries is to be celebrated today in the peoples' house."
 
Recalling his youth in Massachusetts, growing up in the district represented by legendary House Speaker Tip O'Neill, Mayor de Blasio said that he saw the benefit of Irish political leadership at close hand and was raised in an atmosphere very much benefiting from Irish culture.
 
[POSSIBLE BREAK POINT]
 
After thanking Brian O'Dwyer, who had introduced him, the Mayor reflected upon the role of the Irish in New York, saying "This is a very busy place, yet sometimes we have to slow down for a few minutes and appreciate our ancestors and what they accomplished. The resiliency and culture of our city benefit from the resilience and culture of the Irish people."
 
He offered a toast to the Irish "because in this city of immigrants we never forget where we come from and the hard work and enterprise it took to establish the city of today."
 
[ALTERNATE BREAK POINT]
 
And introducing Mr. Kenny, the Taoiseach, who has been Ireland's leader since March of 2011, the Mayor offered "Let me say that a few months is hard enough, but three years is very impressive" adding "I am to offer you a hundred thousand welcomes, but with an upgrade let's make that two hundred thousand welcomes, or even a million."
 
The Prime Minister praised the Mayor's "understanding of the Irish frame of mind" and spoke of how things have changed in his country "from the blockades of the past to the open doors of the future."
 
Gifts were exchanged, the Mayor received a book called Island of Shadows from the Prime Minister, and gave, in return, a lovely clear glass apple. When this crystal symbol dropped to the floor, without breaking, the luck of the Irish was extolled. The Mayor concluded by saying "The apple is whole. The apple has landed. This is one of the great symbols of our city. Neither red nor green, but today it should be a green apple."

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