Saturday 25 May 2019

Irish America Hall of Fame's new centre inducts three more names

Minister Michael D’Arcy performing the official opening of the Irish America Hall of Fame in the Dunbrody Centre
Minister Michael D’Arcy performing the official opening of the Irish America Hall of Fame in the Dunbrody Centre
Members of the Finn family
Kathleen, Saxon and Theresa, daughters of the late Bernard Trainor with Bernard’s sons-in-law Mike and Eddie
Emmett, Raphael and Oisín O’Connell, Foulkesmills
Brendan Grace
Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy

David Looby

The Irish America Hall of Fame in the Dunbrody Visitor Centre inducted three world renowned people in September as it expands its offering in a new look centre.

The late Senator Robert Kennedy's daughter Kerry was inducted, as was Brendan Grace and Bernard Trainor. Bernard E. Trainor (September 2, 1928 - June 2, 2018) was an American journalist and a United States Marine Corps lieutenant general. He served in the Marine Corps for 39 years in both staff and command capacities.

After retiring from the Marine Corps, he began working as the chief military correspondent for The New York Times. He was subsequently a military analyst for NBC. With Michael Gordon, he was the author of three accounts of American wars in Iraq, The Generals War (1995); Cobra II (2006); and Endgame (2012). Members of his family attended the event and spoke of their pride and delight in seeing Bernard inducted posthumously.

Brendan Grace, who was in New Ross attending the Kennedy Summer School, lives in America and he said he was honoured to be inducted into the hall of fame, as did Ms Kennedy, who was inducted the night before the ceremony.

A crowd of around 170 people gathered on the Dunbrody Famine ship in glorious sunshine where they were entertained with music by County Wexford dancer Séana Davey, Claire Ronan and Sean Callaghan.

Minister Michael D'Arcy opened the new hall of fame, which has seen major investment in recent times. Mr D'Arcy spoke about the strong connection that exists between New Ross and America.

He praised the staff at the Dunbrody Famine Ship and Irish Emigrant Experience centre for developing the hall of fame, saying it celebrates the contribution made by Irish people in America, from the fire fighter and the policeman, to world renowned leaders of industry and politics.

CEO of the Dunbrody Visitor Centre Sean Connick said: 'We were delighted to get the opportunity to host the ceremony as most inductions are held in New York. We now have an integrated action plan for improving the visitor experience.

'There are ten components of that and one of those was to move from having the Hall of Fame located upstairs down to be incorporated in the Famine Ship Tour. It ties in better as well.'

He said many emigrants endured great hardship and didn't have great success in America, while many others did.

'Brendan Grace has very strong links with Wexford and it was a huge opportunity for us to induct Kerry Kennedy who launched the Kennedy Summer Scheme.

'The hall of fame now has it own dedicated space where you can watch footage and get an audio visual experience of people who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.'

Funding has been announced for a new Savannah wing just before the Hall of Fame where people on the tour will enter a Savannah installation. 'We received really exciting news this week to develop a new Savannah installation. We are working with Savannah to get a real authentic instalment which will be another major addition to the experience.'

New Ross Standard