Wednesday 7 December 2016

Patrick Geoghegan: An inspiring Irishman will be at centre of Obama's speech to the people

Patrick Geoghegan

Published 23/05/2011 | 05:00

WHEN US President Barack Obama addresses the Irish people -- and the world -- from College Green in Dublin this evening, he will use the opportunity to pay tribute to Daniel O'Connell, the Irish patriot who had a profound influence on his own historical hero, the great black abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

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It will not be the first time he has discussed both men.

This year at the White House on St Patrick's Day, Mr Obama spoke movingly about Douglass and O'Connell, saying: "The great fighter of freedom here in this country drew inspiration from the Irishman's courage and intelligence, ultimately modelling his own struggle for justice on O'Connell's belief that change could be achieved peacefully through rule of law."

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