Thursday 17 October 2019

We're standing strong in Boston, says governor

Lise Hand

And so he arrived in Dublin yesterday evening to join state Senate President Therese Murray who is leading a three-day trade mission to Ireland.

His first visit of the day was to Trinity College's technology campus, where he and Senator Murray were given short presentations by a variety of young entrepreneurs.

But the shadow of the events of April 15 still loomed large. Governor Patrick told the Irish Independent that a full recovery from the terrorist attack that killed three people and injured over 260 would "take time".

"We're standing strong now. Everybody stepped up, the professionals and ordinary people alike really brought their A-game.

"In many ways, it was both the worst and the best of times in the city, because everyone stepped up and brought their best," he added.

His view was echoed by Ms Murray, who said Boston was "very resilient". However, she also said that for many caught up in the violence, recovery would be a slow process.

Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts, and Therese Murray,President of the Massachuesetts Senate, at Government Buildings for their meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts, and Therese Murray,President of the Massachuesetts Senate, at Government Buildings for their meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny

"The people who were victims of this have a very long way to go before they are well again, multiple surgeries, amputations," she said.

Although the governor is among the 24pc of Massachusetts people who claim Irish ancestry, Deval Patrick was still puzzled when he was presented with a gift. He looked bemusedly at the flat wooden yoke which had just been placed in his hands. It was a hurley and sliotar.

"Thank you for the bat . . . hurling stick . . ." he began.

"It's a hurley," explained a local. "Thank you for de hurley," said the governor in a perfect Dublin accent as the audience cheered. But the word 'sliotar' defeated him. "Just call it a ball if you want," shouted a voice from the crowd.

The governor's busy schedule included lunch in East Point business park with heads of Irish US-based companies, also an afternoon meeting with the Tanaiste in Leinster House, followed by a reception in the US ambassador's residence.

But first he headed to Government Buildings for a meeting with the Taoiseach, where more gifts were exchanged. Enda Kenny presented him with a book of Irish maps, and the senator got a green Foxford scarf.

And then the Taoiseach was given a rather nice circular silver Revere bowl (originally designed by one of Boston's most famous sons, Paul Revere).

Enda examined it fondly. "It looks like a mini-Sam," he declared to the amusement of all. "Enjoy it while you can, Taoiseach," replied one irreverent bystander.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News