Watch again: Biden speaks from his ancestral home of Ballina to conclude Ireland tripApr 15, 2023
Mary, I see the light now, it's safe to be here with all of you, it's great to be back and following you, not during your 300th anniversary, this city is
hometo Wireless's first female president, one of its youngest mayors and maybe to be the first female astronaut from Ireland. Nora Patton Mr. Mayor, thank you for welcoming me back to the city and I also want to thank the jersey for your remarkable hospitality, your generous comments, and perhaps most importantly, your friendship. I want to thank the bands that played before. God you guys are amazing and we academics let's give another big help by the way to The Chieftains.
I remember being with you in 2016. I am thankful that you have returned once
againto perform tonight. Thank you boss your music is amazing and I've been a fan for a long time my good friends my good friend bass Kenny ex teacher a postman is here with finola's wife God loves her she's going straight to heaven I love you both but Most of all I want to acknowledge my family all the Blues you make me proud you make me proud all year long the words of the great man Poe and Andrew Rafferty have been coming to my mind and he says so he said now this is coming I'll hoist my sail as he finished my head I won't stay.
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watch again biden speaks from his ancestral home of ballina to conclude ireland trip...
Still, until I stand in the center of County Mayo, I mean it. I had to be here. My son Hunter, my sister Valerie, and I made several stops at City Hall. Suddenly we didn't know he was there, a former military chaplain, Father O'Grady, who gave my son the last rights and Walter Reed Medical Hospital in Washington. It was amazing to see it. It seemed like a sign. We traveled to the mayor of the North, Heritage. Center where I learned even more about my roots and mail roots that brought me back here to Ballina and to Saint Murdoch, what a magnificent cathedral.
I also learned if you go back far enough you can find a record of an Edward screwing it up who worked for several years on the ordinance doing surveying mapping his whole area of Ireland but even before that it turns out he worked on the old bottle in the Brickyard we found a record or should I say the Historical Society found a record for me in 1828 they paid you £21 12s to help Supply these bricks for this Cathedral 27,000 of them I was able to hold one in my hand today they are damn heavy as they are heavy while working I am sure Edward imagines that one day his family will adore here that his children will be baptized here as his son Patrick was and that future generations of his family will mark the milestones of their lives here on its solid walls , but I doubt that he ever imagined that his great-great-grandson would come back 200 years later as President of the United States of America and that's amazing and I want to thank you I want to thank you I heard that everyone had an impromptu celebration the night I was declared the winner in the election of 2020 graced the city of time They told me and it read white and blue with cars and crowds gathered in Market Square singing the green and red of May well I tell you what the world means to me the world meant to me and all my family being hugged like Mayo Joe son of balana my mother my grandmother whose maiden name was Blewett are smiling at me right now and I can tell you what that song is talking about is like Oh the feeling that came over me to stay forever forever forever always and in the green and red of may everywhere the green and red of mayonnaise oh the green and red of mayonnaise the truth of what it's like to be here feels like i know you're going to say it feels like coming
homeit really does to over the years the stories of this place have become part of my soul part of my family tradition this was where i imagine my great great grandfather took shade under his trees after long days the brick factory was here i imagine his sons they climbed the limestone cliffs and played in the muddy swamps and fished in the river plus it was here that i pictured one of those kids my great great grandfather Patrick stood on the shores of track bay and dreamed of becoming a sailor when Patrick was just a teenager set sail for america for the first time but in the 1850s the famine hit mayo particularly hard he sent back a bottle of The Gather all the blood Clan mom dad and all the kids and together they went up to The Excelsior to sales in the States United as I imagine their life here in County Mayo I can only imagine how hard it must have been to leave it all behind to be the only place they ever called home and hold on to the uncertain hope of Beyond like so many other men and women from Edward and patrick male carry this hope with them across the sea settled in my hometown of scranton pennsylvania and continue to their sister city actually i knew i was coming so you know what i did i invited the mayor of scranton, Pennsylvania, to come with me, she's here tonight, Paige cognetti, she was here, she was there in Scranton. where Patrick raised his own son also named Edward Edward Francis Blewett my great-grandfather his Irish pride ran deep helped found the Irish American Association now known as the sons of friendly Southern Saint Patrick a foul from Lackawanna County presided over the Saint's Day Parade Patrick of Scranton in 1897. for the Ancient Order of Hibernians, he became one of the first Irish Catholics elected to the Pennsylvania state senate and became one of the first in my family to go to college for a degree in engineering from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, but while Edward had a scientist's head in a poet's heart years after my mother's death, much of his belongings were Ematic.
I couldn't bring myself to go through them to empty the boxes but when I finally did you knew what I found in the Attic in my mother's memoirs over 100 poems written by Edward Blewett Senator Edward Blewett and one from 1919 he wrote about his Ireland from the most beautiful land but mine these stars and the moon and the sun a citadel of liberty my mother's land the room was a Scranton where my mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan, met and married my father, Joseph R. Biden Sr was a wonderful man, but he was a saving grace in the eyes of the Finnegans, well, she had a Galway Hannity on her mother's side, salvaged by the fact that he ties the English name together.
I raised my siblings and I with a fierce pride in our Irish ancestry, a pride that spoke as much to the history that unites us as, more importantly, to the values that unite us to this day. I still remember hearing my father say at the table Joey and I wanted to say I give you my word and it's absolutely true that I would say Joey everyone everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect I can still hear my mom say tell me Joey no one is better than you but everyone is your equal these are the same values i tried to pass on to my children and grandchildren whom i always dreamed of bringing to
irelandin 2016 when i was vice president that dream came true three generations of my family walked garden street reverend blue or brickmaker and The Surveyor lived with his family, he was on Garden Street, we learned the true meaning of the Celtic expression, a hundred thousand welcomes, in fact I think I shook a hundred thousand hands that day.
I also met distant cousins who instantly felt like family. I grew up on Sunday dinners every week Their strong bond brought me back in 2017 when I was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania no crowds no caravans no secret service just me and my brother Jimmy coming home to see family during the
tripthe honor of changing ross common hospice side as many of you know the hospice is now open and thanks to my cousin lorita blewett and many of them she is amazing by the way and many of them there is a bookmark there a marker placed there in memory of my son both passed away in 2015. a war hero decorated by the Delaware Attorney General after a courageous fight
against brain cancer, so i can tell you how special it is to have a part of his legacy live on here among his ancestors and thinking about it I can hear my father's voice again, he always said Joey, remember, family is the beginning, the middle, and the end, the beginning, the middle, and the end, that's the irish, the beginning in the middle of man, everything between
ireland, america is deep, our history, our heritage, our. sorrows our future our friendship our joys but more than anything hope is what beats in the hearts of all our people for a century even in times of darkness and despair hope has kept us marching towards a better future one of greater freedom greater dignity and greatest chances in the early days of my nation's history, thousands of Scottish tires along with George Washington stood up for those ideals and then those democratic ideals were under threat during my nation's Civil Wars, that's when the Irish immigrants who came after the famine, over 150,000 of them during the fight to defend freedom inequality many serving in the legendary Irish Brigade when another irish catholic president just another john f kennedy visited ireland 60 years ago you can applaud him man he was something more foreign a small flag of the That Regiment The Irish Brigade honoring Ireland's great contributions to American Freedom still hangs there to this day.
It is a legacy of faith and fidelity to the freedom of one another that has been transmitted from generation to generation. Today, the United States continues to honor that legacy, including that one. to a male-born Marine named Patrick Gallagher Patrick emigrated to New York in 1962. He worked for the Senate campaign of one of my political heroes, Robert F. Kennedy, a few years later, when he wasn't even US citizen. Patrick joined the United States. Marine Corps and deployed to Vietnam in January 1966 Patrick's team was ambushed when the enemy threw a grenade at his team Patrick threw himself on top of that grenade was willing to sacrifice his life to save his brothers in arms survived that attack the neighborhood was the lord of the Navy cross for his bravery, sadly he was later killed in action, but this year his name will be honored with iron when the United States launches a new Navy destroyer, the USS Patrick Gallagher of May.
He said we Irish are the only people who feel nostalgic for the future, we always believe in a better tomorrow, it's because no matter what, we've always carried hope in our hearts, it's hope that paved the way for Through the darkness, it lit it up for us. our strength has helped us overcome everyday difficulties and, above all, our courage has allowed us to march forward in faith even in the face of pain and setbacks, as you well know, this is not just a story from our past, but from our present and our future. also earlier this week marked 25 years is marking The Good Friday Agreement 25 years of progressive progress not just for the people of Northern Ireland but for people across the island is a reminder of the importance of peace that I want to see achieve when we work together for a common cause, ladies and gentlemen, our world today is at a tipping point because the decisions we make today will affect our future for decades to come and it is right now, but we need hope and courage more than ever . facing huge challenges around the world sounds too big for any one country to solve alone, together we must face these challenges of food insecurity from diseases that continue to ravage communities around the world just as they did in Ireland generations ago and I am so proud of to say that Ireland has not forgotten that you have become a leader in fighting global hunger around the world today we must address the crime of crisis as devastating impacts to preserve our planet for generations to come, as I said before parliament, the famous Forty Shades of Green now include green energy green farming and green jobs now with Russia's brutal aggression brutal rollback of war shattering the peace of Ukraine and Europe we must renew our commitment to our values our ancestors fought what we fought for Irish for freedom Democracy must always be championed and I want to thank you.
I say this from the bottom of my heart. I want to thank you for your incredible generosity that you have shown like so many other Irish families across the country who have opened their hearts and homes to dozens. of thousands of ukrainian refugees fleeing rushes brutal violence i've been there many times ireland remembers ireland remembers so let me in where i start with the bricks of this cathedral only 200 years ago the bricks touched by my great great grandfather and his hands still hold this rascal soar high and hold it high as irish american history itself is a testament to our present shared past and future
speaksto the sweat of the workers who raised this skyward brick by brick fire just as they did in communities across my home country , you know, over 32 million Americans claim Irish heritage, more would ifthey could and I imagine all the hope and hard work that those Irish Hearts embodied inspired another of my great great grandfathers, Edward Francis, clapped his hands, this one was from 1925 towards the end of his life he called it the workers so goes the march of progress cannot cease while minds and art and souls unite in faith to Sublime things my friends people of May this is a time to recommit our hearts our minds our art and souls to the march of progress to lay the Rich by Brick by Brick foundation for a better future for our children and our grandchildren one of Greater Liberty opportunity and dignity just like our forefathers I have never been more optimistic and I have been doing this for a long time time.
I have never been more optimistic about what we can achieve if we stick together and stick to our values. This is a time of enormous possibilities. United by history. Inheritance and hope. it's just out of our reach every time I leave my grandpa Finnegan's house in ScrantonPennsylvania Joey yelled keep the faith then I heard someone from the house yell no Joey spread the word may God protect all who serve the cause of peace and oh one more thing send a mail to sam its for sale thank you thank you.
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