Tuesday 12 December 2017

Cherie Blair: Tony's dream is to take a family trip to Donegal

Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Cherie Blair, the wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair has revealed her husband's "real ambition" is to take a family trip to Ballyshannon, Co Donegal.

Mrs Blair enjoyed a whistlestop trip to Dublin in conjunction with the launch of a new photographic exhibition 'Her Story' with Plan Ireland's Because I'm A Girl campaign.


And she spoke of her affection for Ireland, dating back to her great-grandmother, who originated from Cork.


"Well I enjoy coming to Ireland, in fact I was only here exactly one year ago because I was here for the International Bar Association (IBA)," she explained at the exhibition launch at Powerscourt Townhouse.


"I love coming to Ireland," she added. "My own great grandmother came from county Cork.


"She came over to Liverpool then. I think the family intended on going to the US but never made it further than Liverpool. It's a common story."


"But I remember her. She lived with my grandmother and my mother and I until I was seven, so there is a link there.


"She used to talk about how very different growing up in rural Ireland was."


Mrs Blair, who appeared at a business event at the Shelbourne Hotel earlier in the day, added that the Blairs have enjoyed family trips here in the past.


"I have brought my children here, absolutely," she said.


"My husband's real ambition is to take the kids back to Ballyshannon, where he used to go as a boy."


Her passion for Irishness doesn't end there as she spoke of her love of our fashion designers, including Louise Kennedy and Paul Costelloe.


"I know Louise Kennedy very well. When I was in Downing Street, I would wear some of her clothes," Mrs Blair said.


"I think it was on the way back from the IBA event last year, I popped in to her.


"I know she comes back and forth [to London] quite a bit.


"The other person I often work with is Paul Costelloe. He's a very charming Irish man in a way only Irish men can be."


While she spoke of the family's desire to revel in downtime here, this trip was all about business.


During her tenure in Downing Street, Mrs Blair launched the UK sister charity to Plan Ireland's Because I'm a Girl campaign.


"I thought it was a fantastic idea because we often talk about problems with women but we forget of course that those problems start at the very beginning of life," she explained.


"As girls, you're dismissed as 'just a girl'. These girls are full of talent."

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