Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chelsea Clinton's little bit of Ireland

Once upon a time there was a little girl called Chelsea Clinton.

Her daddy was the President of the USA and her mammy is now the US Secretary of State.

But when Chelsea was just a young teenager - she literally took a piece of Ireland home with her, or so her mammy likes to tell people!

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had over 700 Irish Americans eating out of the palm of her hands on Tuesday night at the Ronald Reagan Trade Centre as she was honoured by the American Ireland Fund.

It was a proud night for Hillary, who was accompanied by the other big name on the night - President Bill Clinton himself, who for a change was forced to take a back seat as his wife took centre stage.

The gig was attended by a who’s who of influential Irish Americans, including Congressman Richard Neal, hotelier and Irish American of the Year John Fitzpatrick, US Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland Declan Kelly and - of course - Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

But the night was Hillary’s - and by default, Chelsea Clinton’s as her mum told an endearing story about the young teenager who grew up in the White House.

“I remember the first time our daughter stepped foot in Ireland. She was a teenager. We were not actually going to Ireland but we were stopping in Shannon to refuel,” she said.

“As we got off the airplane, she went up to one of the officials there to greet us and she was engaged in very serious conversation and I didn’t know quite what she was talking about.”

“And then she came back and said ‘they are going to let me do it’. And I said ‘what are they going to let you do?’.”

“She said they are going to let me leave the airport and go out and actually touch the ground of Ireland.”

“So she did and she gathered some soil in Shannon Airport, she placed that in a bottle and she brought it home with her to the White House where it resided until she went off to college and she has kept it ever since,” she said.

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