Saturday 17 August 2019

American Independence Day celebrations

Celebrating July 4th at the Emigrant Flame
Celebrating July 4th at the Emigrant Flame

The close bonds between Ireland and America were celebrated at the annual Fourth of July ceremony at the Emigrant Flame in New Ross.

A crowd which included around 20 American citizens gathered on a beautiful summer's day for the ceremony.

MC Sean Connick of the Dunbrody visitor centre welcomed everyone, saying that the American day of Independence has been celebrated in New Ross for several years and chairperson of the JFK Trust Walter O'Leary highlighted the close, enduring ties between America and New Ross.

Cathaoirleach of New Ross Municipal council Cllr John Fleming said he was very pleased to be in attendance for American Independence Day, representing not only New Ross Municipal District, but also as an honorary citizen of Takoma, Washington.

He said: 'I toured America on many occasions playing handball in the World handball Championships and have a green card. My sons have dual citizenship with Ireland and America so this occasion is of special significance for me!'

Cllr Fleming said the ties between New Ross and the United States cannot be underestimated, particularly in relation to the Kennedy family, adding that those bonds were being celebrated on July 4th.

'Over the next few months, we look forward to creating even stronger links with the Kennedy family with the opening of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge. This bridge will bring large numbers of tourists to the area not only because the name cements the ties between the Kennedy family with New Ross, but also because it will be the world's longest bridge of its type and will be the longest bridge in Ireland. So for now, I wish you all a very happy 4th of July and look forward to the coming year and the opportunities the bypass and the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge will bring to our district.'

New Ross Standard journalist David Looby, whose mother hails from America, spoke about his ties to the country, before reading the United States Declaration of Independence. Afterwards, he raised the American flag, and the crowd were treated to several performances by Stephanie Kinsella, who sang the Star Spangled Banner and Amhran Na BnFiann.

New Ross Standard