Thursday 29 September 2016

What do Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Melania Trump have in common?

Geraldine Gittens

Published 20/07/2016 | 12:16

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Barack Obama during the US president’s 2011 visit to Ireland. Our history of lowering barriers and deepening ties with the USA strongly favours a proposed EU-America trade deal
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Barack Obama during the US president’s 2011 visit to Ireland. Our history of lowering barriers and deepening ties with the USA strongly favours a proposed EU-America trade deal
Wing woman: Enda and Fionnuala arrive onstage at College Green before US President Barack Obama speaks on May 23, 2011.
President Barck Obama and 1st lady Michelle Obama share a smile as Taoiseach Enda Kenny makes a speech at College Green PHOTO:Mark Condren
The Taoiseach said that the current agreement with Fianna Fáil has been put together 'in good faith' and that he is determined to ensure that three budgets are passed
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives his thumb up as he walks off the stage with his wife Melania during the Republican National Convention
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up after his wife Melania spoke during the Republican National Convention
Melania Trump, wife of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, waves as she arrives to speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland
Republican candidate Donald Trump walks off the stage with his wife Melania during the Republican National Convention. Photo: John Locher/AP
Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump with his wife Melania after she concluded her remarks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio

Remember when Enda Kenny 'borrowed' part of President Barack Obama's famous victory speech in 2011 during the US President’s visit to Ireland?

  • Go To

Mr Kenny's rousing speech sparked applause and cheers from the crowd at College Green in May 2011 but the opening section was strikingly similar to Mr Obama's 2008 speech at Grant Park in Chicago.

This week Melania Trump has been accused of lifting parts of Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention eight years ago.

Here in 2011, the controversy over Enda Kenny lasted for days, but Kenny insisted he was merely tipping his hat to America's president.

The first 40 words of his 470-word address introducing the president were deliberately from Obama's speech, he said.

"It was a tribute to the president of the United States as distinct from anything else," the Taoiseach said at the time. "That's one of his most famous speeches and it hangs in my office."

At the time, a government spokeswoman also denied he was plagiarising Mr Obama and said Mr Kenny merely echoed the sentiments expressed in the now world-famous speech to make it relevant for an Irish audience.

"I think what the Taoiseach was doing was drawing on a very well-known speech by Barack Obama and just putting it into an Irish context and an Irish setting," she said. "There was no plagiarism, he was just drawing on it."

In his speech, Mr Kenny said: "If there's anyone out there who still doubts that Ireland is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our ancestors is alive in our time; who still questions our capacity to restore ourselves, to reinvent ourselves and to prosper, well today is your answer."

While Mr Obama told Chicago in 2008 said: "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment