Friday, March 16, 2007

Today's remarks by Prime Minister Ahern and President Bush:

Prime Minister Ahern to President Bush:

... Mr. President, each new generation of Irish arriving in this country has made is own contribution and helped assure a unique relationship.

The generation of Irish who have arrived here more recently are themselves now putting down new and deep roots and our a precious asset as we build a relationship and keep it fresh and vibrant for the future.

I want to thank you for your support for a comprehensive and balanced solution to the current challenges facing the immigration system in the United States. You've offered real leadership on this sensitive issue.

The resolution of this issue would mean an enormous amount to so many Irish men and women, and I fervently hope that they will, in the not too distant future, be able to step away from the shadows and into the sunshine of this great country.

President Bush to Prime Minister Ahern:

Americans are grateful for our country's Irish heritage, and the enduring friendship that exists between Ireland and the United States is strong.

The ties that bind our two nations stretch all the way back to our country's founding. Ireland gave us at least nine signers of the Declaration of Independence, and many more who risked their lives to defend it. Irish Americans fought valiantly to preserve the union in our Civil War.

They helped turn back the totalitarian ideologies of the 20th century. And they're fighting bravely in today's war on terror, risking their lives to secure a future of freedom and peace for generations to come.

Many of Ireland's sons and daughters came to our shores to escape poverty and famine. Once here, they helped us build and strengthen this great nation with their gifts of industry and talent and faith. Irish workers build our railroads, our cathedrals, and our cities. Irish writers and musicians have enriched our literature and our culture. Irish priests and nuns established parochial schools that have helped generations of children build lives of prosperity and purpose. And with their many contributions, Irish Americans remind us of our heritage as a nation of immigrants, and our duty to remain a welcoming society...

... On this St. Patrick's Day, we're grateful for the presence of the Irish in our country.


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